Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wellington Water Front Privatised

Iron clad secrecy around the Wellington City Council's 99 year lease agreement of a retail development took place yesterday at the Strategy and Policy Committee. The land is next to the failed Queen's Wharf shopping centre. The new building would be four stories and not in sympathy with surrounding buildings.

Councillors were not told what the figure was for the transaction, that is effectively a sale of prime public land. I was joined in opposition to the sale by Councillors Ruben, Ritchie, Wade-Brown and Cook . The Dompost failed to report who voted for the privatising, preferring to give the impression that it was unanimously supported by Council, but noted two Councillors queried the terms.

In reality it was a protracted battle that saw the Variation 17 champions win the day. Those voting with the Mayor and profit takers were Cr Mckinnon, Cr Shaw, Cr Morrison, Cr Wain, Cr Gill, Cr Foster, and Cr Armstrong. Absent were Councillors Ahipene-Mercer and and Cr Goulden.

Lambton Quay expenditure of $7.97 million over 10 years was opposed by myself and Ritchie. I argued that rates were a runaway train and that such an extravagant spend up was done on the back of the shift in the commerical rate onto the residents' rate bill. Added to this I said that Newtown should be receiveing funding and not the Central Business Centre that had been given rates relief at the expense of the residents.

3 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

Good stuff Pepps. I'll put a link on my blog to yours immediately.

A good way to get read is to visit and comment a bit on the other blogs around the traps. There is a good list on scoop. Also, I reckon scoop will quickly publish a link to your blog, you being a councillor and all. email editor@scoop.co.nz

Cheers
Steve

12:58 PM  
Blogger pepptalk said...

Many thanks for pointing me towards the latest update in your Blog.
I tried to sign up , but it didnt want to accept any username , despite several different attempts I assume that you have ( relatively ) similar views as Cr.s Ritchie and Ruben on numerous topics .
The only way that I know how to make a change is to try and persuade other councillors to revisit their voting choice -- if that is going to mean that councillors are going to be hammered with many emails asking for justice , well so be it .
As I have told Cr Ritchie , if the cap doesnt fit , I dont expect her to wear it.
Suggest you print off my emails and then give a whole bunch of them to one of the other councillors that voted for corporate money , and tell them to respond to this writer .
Keep up the good work , especially with the Pepptalk and blog . All you need now is a weekly column in a newspaper .
When I write and complain about "council" I am referring to those who are voting for the corporate dollar who end up as the majority , and not to the councillors who vote for the people of Wellington .
Does the Waterfront Watch president know of your blog/website existance ? I note that they are often successaful in getting letters to the editor actually published ( my letters never
succeed )

Nigel Foster

1:01 PM  
Blogger Peter Sharpe said...

Thanks Bryan,
I'm in total agreement with comments regarding the Wellington City Council's secret meetings (essentially, that's what a meeting closed to any chance of opposition is...).
Council officials have a long history of such meetings, not the least of which were those surrounding the Happy Valley Tip and polutants CURRENTLY being discharged into the environment.
The Council's resource consent hearing on discharge to air was a CLOSED hearing!!
On reading their 'un-opposed' resource consent, one can clearly see the discharge of raw CFC gasses to be vastly in excess of world guidelines.
Why?
Because they are allowed to get away with it via a closed meeting!
The DomPost ('Deaf - Post'??)didn't even report the contents of the consent.
All this leaves the poor old ratepayer (remember them...they're the poor mugs paying Council officials to continually louse things up..)not only thousands of dollars out of pocket but mis-trusting the people who represent them on the Council.
I know for a fact the disaffected Councillors have very little input into the day-to-day running of Council infrastructure and yet they cop the blame when the system is corrupted.
I say it's about time the CEO's position at Council beacame an elected one.
Perhaps that way the old 'Order of the Rabbit' may finally be exterminated.

2:41 PM  

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