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Banks puts line in the sand over island purchase

Banks puts line in the sand over island purchase

“Auckland City will show some leadership on the issue of local territorial authorities contributing to the Government’s purchase of Kaikoura Island,” Auckland City Mayor Hon John Banks told Conservation Minister, Hon Chris Carter, at this morning’s Mayoral Forum.

“Whatever we as a region decide to be our total contribution, Auckland City will contribute on a pro-rata basis. Auckland City is happy to stump up its fair share, predicated on the region’s other councils coming up with their fair share.

“For far too long the ratepayers of Auckland City have carried the ‘free loading’ of other ratepayers in other local authorities. On this issue I am putting a line in the sand.

“I never wanted to stump up any money for this acquisition. However, this government has given me a huge cheque for pensioner housing, $1.62 billion for roading, and up to $10 million to secure Westhaven. It is only fair that I offer a few bob to purchase Kaikoura Island,” he said.

The Government today announced it has bought Kaikoura Island for $10.5 million with contributions confirmed from the ASB Trusts and $250,000 from the Auckland Regional Council.

“Auckland City is very generous, and we incur a lot of the regional costs, but as I’ve said to the Minister previously, we’re happy to front up with our fair share of the difference to keep this Hauraki Gulf island as public open space. However, we’re not prepared to subsidise any other council, no matter how small they are,” Mr Banks said.

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