Coun­cil as­sets ‘un­used’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

At a time when rates rises are reach­ing record lev­els in Porirua, prime pieces of city coun­cilowned real es­tate are sit­ting un­de­vel­oped.

Coun­cil critic – and fre­quent Kapi-Mana News let­ter-writer – An­drew Wel­lum said the coun­cil was run­ning short of cash, had Trans­mis­sion Gully link roads to pay for and rates rises were con­tin­u­ing un­abated.

‘‘I don’t think this coun­cil knows what to do with its as­sets. It should be leav­ing the pri­vate sec­tor in charge of prop­erty,’’ he said.

‘‘They harp on about a lack of rev­enue, but they’re los­ing rates on these ex­pen­sive prop­er­ties that are just sit­ting there.

‘‘They should get back to their core busi­ness.’’

Wel­lum favours sell­ing the prop­erty to take the pres­sure off rates, pro­jected to rise more than 5 per cent this year.

‘‘Peo­ple will flee Porirua if the rates keep ris­ing.’’

Coun­cil­lor and real es­tate agent Euon Mur­rell rep­re­sented the ven­dors for the Steyne Ave prop­er­ties sale, but took no part in the coun­cil meet­ing that con­firmed the pur­chase.

He said the in­ten­tion was to en­large pub­lic ac­cess to the beach, which was ‘‘dis­jointed and awk- ward’’ at present.

‘‘Some­times you have to make pur­chases look­ing at the long term,’’ he said.

‘‘It gives you op­tions – the in­ten­tions were right and there are plans for devel­op­ment, which is on coun­cil­lors’ radar.

‘‘We want to en­hance Porirua as a des­ti­na­tion and buy­ing prop­erty like this can achieve that.’’

Mur­rell said he hoped there would be progress on the devel­op­ment of the Ti­tahi Bay and Plim­mer­ton sites, but said changes in coun­cil per­son­nel meant some of the work had stalled.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Wendy Walker said the pur­chases were about ‘‘fu­ture-proof­ing’’.

‘‘Both [Bay Dr and Steyne Ave] are se­cured for devel­op­ment as pub­lic ameni­ties.

‘‘This work isn’t ur­gent, but is be­ing sched­uled in our work pro­gramme,’’ she said.

Walker said the New Zealand Post build­ing was a ‘‘very rea­son­able cost’’ and that four com­pa­nies would soon present pro­pos­als to de­velop it.

PHOTO: COL­LIERS

No 19 Bay Dr, bought by Porirua City Coun­cil in 2012.

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