Thursday, February 10, 2011

There's no other way

The Waitemata Local Board has been gagged from talking publicly about a secret deal condemning eight 20th century industrial buildings in the Wynyard Quarter to rubble.

The former Auckland City Council is understood to have done a deal with a private landowner, Viaduct Harbour Holdings, to leave eight buildings out of a list of 17 buildings deemed worthy of protection by Salmond Reed heritage architects.

The deal is so secret the Auckland Council will not even confirm its existence and last night members of the Waitemata Board were brought under the blanket of confidentiality to stop Aucklanders learning anything.

It's happening again. Yet, only a few media releases ago, Mayor Brown - speaking of the Turua Street debacle - said
... he is determined that this kind of issue not be repeated and to ensure the Auckland Plan protects our built heritage.
So what are we to make of this? Not only does Mayor Brown seem unconcerned with what little remains of Auckland's historic building stock, but he also seems to be uninterested in open government. As noted in my previous post, democracy does not seem to be one of his concerns either. I don't know about you but he is beginning to remind me of someone.


Craig Ranapia said...

Do not spring Meryl Streep on me again without a WARNING. That was just mean.

Christopher Dempsey said...

Speaking as a member of the Waitemata Local Board I will point out the following;

We were gagged from discussing the issue of heritage buildings in Wynard Wharf area. However, it is not fair to suggest that Mayor Len Brown is"...uninterested in open government".

I suspect Mr Brown would only be too willing to discuss this matter publicly, but he, nor us, can, as a result of rather dubious behaviour by officers of the old Auckland City Council, and dubious behaviour of the landowner in the area. This offensive behaviour means that you, and the residents of Auckland are denied knowing about the deal between officers and the landowner, and secondly that we, elected representatives, can't talk about it.

At least that is how it appears, but of course we don't know for sure, because we can't talk about it, Mayor Brown included.

Stephen Stratford said...

May we learn the identity of the landowner?

Christopher Dempsey said...

I'm not sure that I can reveal that information even, but I note that Rudman in a column of Dec 20th in NZ Herald says "...Auckland City had done a deal with Viaduct Harbour Holdings, a big private landowner in the area..." so read into that what you will.

Paul said...

Christopher, thank you. Maybe I was too hard on the Mayor. Perhaps he is not like Meryl Streep at all. Somewhere in the local government laws there should be a clause which does not allow this kind of deal.