Trafficking of peo­ple

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

In­stead, Porirua City Coun­cil de­cided to take ratepay­ers on an ad­ven­ture into the high-risk world of prop­erty spec­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment, mostly de­cided be­hind closed doors with no con­sul­ta­tion.

Now, hav­ing bought all the land and build­ings, and re­al­is­ing own­er­ship, hold­ing and de­vel­op­ment costs are out of con­trol, the coun­cil is look­ing for com­mer­cial part­ners.

In sim­ple terms, that means you and I foot­ing the bill to sell the land and build­ings to pri­vate de­vel­op­ers at a loss, agree­ing to lease back some of the of­fice and re­tail space, and pro­vid­ing fund­ing, guar­an­tees and rates hol­i­days to pri­vate de­vel­op­ers.

In­stead of con­ceal­ing in­for­ma­tion be­cause it’s com­mer­cially sen­si­tive, how about be­ing sen­si­tive to ratepay­ers, and spilling the beans on what we own, how much we have paid, how much it’s cost­ing ev­ery year, and how much rev­enue has been lost since pur­chase. The CBD is a high-risk tsunami area. It is at risk of liq­ue­fac­tion in an earth­quake, and of flood­ing due to poor stormwa­ter in the sur­round­ing hill de­vel­op­ments, which coun­cil has ig­nored/ un­der-in­vested in for decades.

No ma­jor re­tail­ers are miss­ing from North City and Me­gaCen­tre.

Re­tail is chang­ing, with smaller out­lets, and a sig­nif­i­cant shift to the in­ter­net.

Against that back­ground, will it be easy to fund and sell enough stream­side apart­ments for $500,000-plus to even re­motely re­im­burse ratepay­ers for the costs to date?

A re­al­ity check is needed at 16 Cob­ham Court. Amaz­ing (and scary) as the A21 Cam­paigns claims are, even they don’t pro­pose that ‘‘27 mil­lion are traf­ficked just into Euro­pean Union coun­tries each year’’. Your ed­i­to­rial (Jan­uary 20) is a gross ex­ag­ger­a­tion of their claims.

Their claim is that 27 mil­lion peo­ple are in ‘‘bondage’’ world­wide at any time, a fright­en­ing statis­tic, which you have mis­rep­re­sented.

I would ques­tion where their es­ti­mate of 27 mil­lion has come from.

No doubt it is a wor­thy or­gan­i­sa­tion, but I think their cause would be fur­thered with­out the pro­lif­er­a­tion of wild claims.

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