Hold­ing com­pany plan pushed ahead

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

A hold­ing com­pany to man­age Auck­land City Coun­cil’s com­mer­cial as­sets has been ap­proved – with a cau­tion from mayor John Banks on hav­ing “blind faith” in the pri­vate sec­tor.

Mr Banks said at Thurs­day’s coun­cil meet­ing he’s hold­ing the pro­posal “with light hands”.

“This coun­cil doesn’t have a great record at ap­point­ing great peo­ple to our boards to look af­ter our as­sets.

“I have more con­fi­dence in pub­lic sec­tor of­fi­cials looking af­ter pub­lic as­sets than I do in pri­vate sec­tor busi­ness­men looking af­ter pub­lic as­sets.”

Mr Banks said some ap­point­ments to pub­lic boards left him “dis­il­lu­sioned, be­wil­dered and dis­ap­pointed”.

But if there were sound rea­sons to trans­fer an en­tity to the hold­ing com­pany, he’d be pre­pared to look at it.

Es­tab­lish­ment of the com­pany was ap­proved on the ba­sis that no as­sets would be moved im­me­di­ately. The pub­lic will have a say on any as­sets put for­ward for trans­fer in fu­ture.

City Vi­sion-Labour leader Richard Northey failed to have a list of as­sets ex­cluded, in­clud­ing li­braries, swim­ming pools and the zoo.

Fi­nance and strat­egy com­mit­tee chair­man Doug Arm­strong told the meet­ing noth­ing could be “ab­so­lutely” ruled out.

“But the ob­vi­ous so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties and as­sets that we all recog­nise as core busi­ness of the coun­cil won’t be moved into a hold­ing com­pany.”

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