Stats NZ lease deal ‘astronomical’
11 MAY 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statistics New Zealand’s new lease with Wellington’s Chow Brothers for offices at 318 Lambton Quay signs up taxpayers for $794 per square metre per year – an ‘astronomical’ amount for office space according to the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
As reported by this morning's Dominion Post, documents released today show that the Ministry is paying $1.857 million for 2,338sqm of space – including paying $1,279.56 per square metre per year for level 3 of the building. Westpac Bank, a tenant renting floors in the same building, pays only $331.22 per square metre per year.
A schedule of tenants and amounts payable under the respective leases, provided to the Taxpayers' Union, is now available online at www.taxpayers.org.nz/westpac_house.
Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says, “Despite the market rate for ‘A’ grade buildings being no more than $500 per square metre, this eye-watering deal went through and is the talk of the town in Wellington’s property sector."
"The building owners won't believe their luck. An office lease priced at nearly $800 per square metre is astronomical."
"Until today, we thought the swanky viaduct harbour offices occupied by Auckland Council's Independent Maori Statutory Board were the most expensive publicly paid-for office space in the country. Looks like we were wrong. Taxpayers are forking out big bucks for what is nothing special in the middle of Wellington."
“The Statistics New Zealand official who signed this bizarre lease should be held to account. It makes a mockery of the Government’s previous efforts to get value for money in relation to office accommodation procurement."
"The fact this deal has attracted the attention of Wellington's commercial property owners, who are laughing behind the Government’s back, shows the deal is worthy of a ‘certificate of achievement’ for wasting taxpayer money.”