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North Shore City offices to stay in Takapuna

NEWS RELEASE

North Shore City offices to stay in Takapuna

December 21, 2006

North Shore City Council is to bring together staff from three Takapuna office buildings into one central Takapuna location to provide better customer services and achieve economies on leasing, energy and technology costs.

Chief financial officer Dale Lott says that after an exhaustive review of all options, the council believes that staying in Takapuna is best.

The council has now signed an agreement with the landlord of its head office in The Strand to lease a new 4000 sq metre annexe at the rear of the existing building, with completion by mid-2009. The head office building would then provide a total of 12,000 sq metres of floor space. The council will take a 12 year lease on the entire completed building with two further rights of three year renewals.

"We were faced with a decision as to whether to renew the leases on the two main buildings in Takapuna or to relocate to another part of the city. We decided it was best to stay. The next decision was whether to stay in two buildings or one, and that decision was based on the fact that the leases on both buildings had only three years to run, with no right of renewal," he says.

Mr Lott says the move will make access to the Environmental Services division more customer-friendly, with improvements benefiting customers and staff alike. He says Environmental Services is the "coal face" for much of the council's contacts with the public. With hundreds of people visiting the building every week, and further growth expected, the move will be timely, with the greatly improved facilities appreciated by all.

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Mr Lott says the decision to consolidate operations in central Takapuna - closer to existing transport routes - means the council does not need to fit-out a totally new building. He says there will be some costs in relocation and setup, set off over the long term by economies in lease agreements. A total of $4 million for fit-out and refurbishing has been provided in the council's 10-year city plan.

Currently the council has around 460 staff in its head office in The Strand, with another 280 staff, mostly employed by its Environmental Services division, located on three floors of a building in Lake Road, about 300 metres away. Another nine are located in the Takapuna Area Office across The Strand from the head office building. All these staff will be relocated into the proposed head office extension. The neighbouring Takapuna Library and the Aquatic Centre in Killarney St will be unaffected.

The landlord, Strand Plaza Takapuna, is expected to start work on the new annexe to the building next year (2007). The expansion of the three-storey head office building in The Strand will see construction extending east, making use of the existing car park currently accessible from Club Lane.

The extended portion of the building will be in the same style and colours, and will have a number of eco-friendly features that will give it a "Green Star 4" sustainability rating.

These include the collection and recycling of rain water for non drinking purposes, energy saving heating, ventilation, light fittings and controls.

ENDS

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