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Hefty Auckland Rates Hikes to Pay for New Council HQ

Andrew Williams MP
Spokesperson for Local Government
24 August 2012

Hefty Auckland Rates Hikes to Pay for New Council HQ

New Zealand First is asking Local Government Minister David Carter to explain why Auckland Council is spending almost $200 million on new headquarters without public consultation.

It is understood the council is buying the former ASB Bank building on Auckland’s Albert St for about $104 million. Another $80 million would be spent on refurbishment.

Local Government spokesperson Andrew Williams says neither the purchase price nor the refurbishment costs were disclosed in the council’s Long Term Plan.

“Auckland Council was formed with Government promises of savings to ratepayers. So how can the Minister justify them secretively spending nearly $200 million extra without even bothering to consult the public?

“This clandestine council spending comes at a time when many Auckland ratepayers are being burdened with massive rates hikes.”

Mr Williams says centralising much of the council into one downtown HQ is dinosaur thinking from the 1980s and flies in the face of initiatives by the former legacy councils to spread benefits across the region.

“It will starve ratepayers in areas such as the North Shore, Waitakere, and Manukau from having easy access to senior council staff, and will economically impact many communities when staff numbers are centralised.”


[Scoop note: Auckland Council has responded to this release: Purchase of 135 Albert Street - response to Andrew Williams]

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