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Community In Dark Over Secret Deal

Waitakere MP Brian Neeson says he is considering seeking an injunction to stop the Government's planned sale of part of Hobsonville Airbase if residents are not consulted.

"This secret deal is despicable. The Government's sale plans were only made public today because I forced those involved to confirm the Government's plans at a community meeting last night," Mr Neeson said.

The Government announced today that work is proceeding on the disposal of the Hobsonville Air Force Base and that the early sale of a small site on the Base is being investigated.

"Local boatbuilders are incensed by rumours that a Canadian boatbuilder has given the Government an ultimatum and managed to shortcut the usual process to get the land he wants. Mr Anderton must come clean and tell not only my constituents but also New Zealanders what is really behind this deal.

"The Government has gone behind the backs of residents in collusion with former Labour Party President and local Mayor Bob Harvey and his friend Bryan Mogridge, Chair of the Hobsonville Taskforce.

"These plans were known by Mr Mogridge yet were not on the agenda of last night's taskforce meeting or bought to the taskforce's attention at the meeting by the Chair. I had to raise this issue based on unofficial information I had received to get the Chair and the Airforce disbursement officer to admit that they even knew about it.

"Mr Anderton and his friends seem to be the only ones that think this sale is a co-operative process. No locals, including Ngati Whatua, have been consulted apart from the Government's political friends. This has been a backroom deal in which those most affected have been kept in the dark.

"Annexing one piece of the land to satisfy Jim Anderton's need to save face over the success or otherwise of his regional development programme will set the tone for the future use of the entire airbase," Mr Neeson said.

Ends


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