A controversial plan to sell seven Auckland Council buildings with a combined valuation of $173 million has been deferred to get a better understanding of the benefits.
Among the buildings proposed for sale as part of the "corporate accommodation disposal" plan are the former Waitakere City Council headquarters in Henderson and offices in Papakura, Pukekohe and Orewa.
The plan envisages rationalising the council's corporate property with the headquarters at "Auckland House" in the CBD, three hubs in the northwest at Albany or Westgate, Bledisloe House in the CBD and Manukau in the south. The programme has a six-year time frame.
There will be seven new customer service centres where building closures occur, improved Local Board and customer service spaces and 25 drop-in spaces at current council locations.
A number of Local Board have opposed aspects of the plan and several were due to appear at a meeting of the finance and performance committee today.
When the meeting started, chairman Ross Clow said the item had been deferred until next month to flesh out a report and better understand the benefits.
Councillor Desley Simpson said it was really important the report covers all the facts and the reasons behind the proposed sales.
Many of the buildings had been part of council life for a long time and changing that had to be clearly articulated, she said.
"What we have got to see is how this will flow forward in practical benefits both today and into the future," Simpson said.
The deferred report said the council has "major capex restraints" and anticipated a significant funding shortfall in the latest 10-year budget with the current portfolio.
Proposed property sales
Five-storey council building, central Manukau
Supported by Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board
Car park alongside council's Bledisloe House at Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD
Supported by Waitemata Local Board subject to keeping laneway between Wellesley St and Aotea Square. Could be subject to Treaty of Waitangi obligations with iwi.
Council buildings and land at Papakura
Opposed by Papakura Local Board who say it was gifted for civic use and a new location has not been identified for a replacement service centre.
Resource consent and customer service centre, Graham St, CBD
Supported by Waitemata Local Board who want to offer it to the Ministry of Education for a new city centre school and ensure the protection of a heritage mural and seawall.
Customer service centre and large 19,305sq m site, Orewa
Opposed by the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board who want a new service centre built before it is sold and an approach to the Waitemata District Health Board to see if it wants the site.
Former Waitakere City Council headquarters, Henderson
Opposed by the Henderson-Massey Local Board due to the lack of information, the location of a Japanese garden gifted by the former Waitakere council's sister city, Kakogawa, and ties to local iwi.
Service centre, Pukekohe
Supported by Franklin Local Board subject to an alternative site for council service being found.
*Values based on 2017 capital valuation