Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Wellington Ratepayers Take $43 Million Hit

Wellington Ratepayers Take $43 Million Hit


The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the property management skill at Greater Wellington Regional Council which has lost 95% of the purchase price of the building it used to occupy.

Information released to the Taxpayers’ Union under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act show that ‘Pringle House’ in Wakefield Street, also known as the 'Regional Council Centre', was purchased in 1987 for $22 million. In 2014 dollars, that is equivalent to $45.2 million. According to a recent independent valuation, the property is worth only $2.3 million. The documents reveal that ratepayers have taken a loss of more than 95% of the purchase price.

“This shows why councils should be extra careful about managing property," says Taxpayers' Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams. "At the time when Greater Wellington is taking a 95% loss on its own building, the port it owns is pushing ahead with the Harbour Quay property development, which Wellington ratepayers underwrite.”

Last month the Taxpayers’ Union revealed that Greater Wellington had not bothered to enquire into the extent of damage and potential loss resulting from the Cook Straight Earthquakes (click here for DominionPost coverage).

“These new revelations do not give us confidence that Greater Wellington are good stewards of ratepayer money. The Council should leave the funding of property development to the private sector and put a stop to risking public money,” says Williams.

Notes:

• Pringle House, the former offices of Greater Wellington Regional Council, were purchased for $45.2 million (inflation adjusted) in 1987.

• The building is now worth $2.3 million and is earthquake prone.

• Consultants have estimated that it will cost $32 million to bring the building up to acceptable standards.

• The costs to physically relocate the Council offices after the Cook Straight quakes last year were nearly $90,000 (not including staff time).

• Despite sitting empty, the building is costing ratepayers $17,000 per month.

• The Council has considerable property risks as debt guarantor of Centre Port’s ‘Harbour Quay’ property developments.

The documents released to the Taxpayers' Union are available at www.taxpayers.org.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

PM's Press Conference: Two More Troops?

Prime Minister Bill English gave a summary his highlights of last week’s budget announcement... The Prime minister was asked about NATO’s request for New Zealand to send two more personnel to Afghanistan and whether or not we will send them. More>>

ALSO:

Carer Settlement: Threat Of Staff Exodus In Mental Health

As a result of the recent pay rise awarded to their aged care and disability sector colleagues, many staff in non-government mental health and addiction organisations are considering leaving to join these workforces. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Policy: New Zealand Set To Blow Its Carbon Budget By 27%

The Government’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows New Zealand is set to release 647.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions between 2013 and 2020 – 137 million tonnes more than we are allowed under the Kyoto Protocol. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Christchurch Considers Cathedral, Stadium: Cathedral Working Group Report Released

“About half of Christchurch wants to see the cathedral reinstated, the other half wants something new and more modern, but really, everyone just needs a decision." More>>

ALSO:

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election