Mayor scuttles property business company
Plans to revive Hamilton City Council’s property development company have been scuttled.
Hamilton Properties Limited began in 1989 and developed central city sites including the BNZ building and Novotel Hamilton Tainui, before it was shut down in 1998.
Moves to reinstate it have now been overturned after a bid from Mayor Andrew King.
He’d tried and failed in March, but he won the necessary support at Thursday’s council meeting.
King questioned whether council should borrow money to buy properties then flick them off again in an attempt to build up council’s wealth.
‘‘We’re aiming to make a 7 per cent return where, at the moment, by having debt paid down we’re getting a 5.5 per cent return.’’
The previous council had voted to transfer assets of the city’s Municipal and Domain Endowment Funds - worth about $52 million - to the property company.
Without Hamilton Properties, the city would still have money in the endowment funds for projects to lift the city, King said.
An amendment that would have kept Hamilton Property in process was lost 4-7, and councillors then voted 8-3 to stop Hamilton Properties going ahead.