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Stop Panuku “fire sale”

Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is supporting a move by Councillor Mike Lee to halt the sale of the primely located 18 storey Civic Administration Building in Aotea Square until a complete commercial report is publicly tabled and discussed by elected council members.

Lee, Waitemata ward Councillor, has tabled a Notice of Motion at today’s governing body meeting demanding the council suspend any sale or transfer of ownership of the building. Lee wants a full report made public of any commercial details of the proposed transaction, including price and how heritage concerns of the listed building are resolved before full council discussion.

Tamihere said the cloak and dagger approach by Panuku – the council’s property arm - is a disgrace and as Mayor, he will ensure Council Controlled Organisations are more transparent.

“If what we hear about a $3 million quick sale price is true, I on behalf of Whanau Waipareira will offer $4m right now and develop this site ourselves - thereby giving ratepayers 33% more on the price,” Tamihere said.

“Waipareira was a 50/50 developer in Westgate 1. We will soon hand over 120 homes in Waterview on time and under budget. We have the scale and ability to develop, and to be blunt we have built more homes than the two Phil’s (Twyford & Goff) put together.

“If there are deals behind the deals, then we must get to the bottom of this. A number of people have approached me about concerns and if I was Mayor, this would go to the Integrity Unit, who will report directly to the Mayor.

“This Mayor has taken elected officials out of these important issues and left it to the Chairs’ of committees to make what appear to be carte blanche decisions.

“That will change under my watch and the elected councillors will make the big decisions.”

Tamihere said his five platform policies (www.jtformayor.co.nz) released in February were laying foundations for changing the culture and conduct of bureaucrats, who must put the ratepayer at the front of their service delivery model and not as an afterthought.

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