Future of public assets uncertain
‘‘No apparent service need has been identified for 34 Moore Street.’’
No decision has been made to sell the unoccupied publicly-owned 34 Moore Street and 16 Fencible Drive buildings and land, says the Auckland Council’s property managers Panuku Development.
Following an article on August 2 headlined ‘Against the sale of 34 Moore St’, the Eastern Courier put questions to Panuku about the potential sale of the council assets. In the story, Howick Local Board chairman David Collings along with board members Garry Boles and Jim Donald, former Mayor of Howick Morrin Cooper, and Crossnet community team leader Garry Carr, expressed their disapproval of the potential sale of the old council and library buildings in Moore Street and Fencible Drive, respectively.
Collings says 34 Moore Street and 16 Fencible Drive have been identified as strategic locations in the recent Howick Village Centre Plan and argues they should stay in public ownership for that reason.
‘‘These properties have been paid for by our ratepayers, either under Manukau City Council or the former Howick Borough Council,’’ Collings says. ‘‘If sold, the proceeds from any of the properties within our area go into a central bucket and board members are not happy with this.’’
Panuku chief operating officer David Rankin says it’s likely to happen as any funds from a potential sale will go towards the council’s long-term plan.
‘‘Proceeds from the sale of council-owned property for which no service need is apparent are used by the council to fund other land purchases or building projects that are prioritised in its long-term plan.’’
But a sale of the Howick properties is not yet planned by Panuku, he says, and any future decisions to do so will be made by the council’s finance and perform- ance committee.
‘‘Panuku is working with Auckland Transport to determine whether there is a potential service need for 16 Fencible Drive. No apparent service need has been identified for 34 Moore Street.’’
Howick ward councillor Dick Quax says the council’s community facilities department does not want to retain the Moore Street public asset.
‘‘We would estimate the total outgoings to be about $100,000 per year.’’
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