Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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


Wellington Council’s Heritage Hang-ups Leave Finances Crumbling

Responding to Wellington City Council’s approval of plans to spend up to $147 million more of ratepayers’ money on the city’s town hall, Taxpayers’ Union Policy Adviser, James Ross, said:

“Whilst pipes are leaking, roads are crumbling and costs of living are climbing out of control, Wellington City Council have voted to raise the potential cost of the town hall restoration project to over $1,500 per resident. As a Castalia report reveals Wellington City Council is set to blow its budget by $1 billion, quite how the council could justify considering burning hundreds of millions propping up numerous crumbling heritage sites whilst basic services fail beggars belief.

“Council officials have railroaded this decision, providing one-sided information to elected representatives and demanding a decision be taken before proper scrutiny of their advice can take place. Credit must be given to Councillor McNulty for recognising the enormous opportunity costs of this project and calling for time to investigate more cost-effective options, while also encouraging the council to explore a local bill to ensure they don’t end up in the exact same position again in the near future with other buildings.

“A huge chunk of the costs and delays associated with demolishing the buildings stem from heritage-status red tape, but despite what officials would have you believe this is completely avoidable.

“A local bill must be sought to allow Wellington Council to de-list buildings by simple majority. A local bill was progressed by Tasman District Council in relation to a water augmentation scheme in 2018, taking only four months to pass through Parliament. Years of legal battles and spiralling costs can easily be avoided so that Wellington can start focusing on getting the basics right again."

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Government’s Policies Of Yesteryear

Winston Peters is routinely described as the kingmaker who decides whether the centre right or the centre-left has a turn at running this country. He also plays a less heralded, but equally important role as the scapegoat who can be blamed for killing taxes that his senior partners never much wanted in the first place. Neither Ardern nor Robertson for example, really wanted a capital gains tax, for fear of Labour copping the “tax and spend“ label they ended up being saddled with anyway. Usefully though, they could tell the party faithful it was wicked old Winston who killed the CGT... More

Government: National, ACT, & NZ First To Deliver For All Kiwis

The National Party claims the new coalition government will be stable, effective, and will deliver for all Kiwis. "Despite the challenging economic environment, New Zealanders can look forward to a better future because of the changes the new Government will make ... We know that, with the right leadership, the right policies, and the right direction, together New Zealanders can make this an even better country," says Christopher Luxon... More


Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw... More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.