A new town square on Auckland's north western outskirts has been named, as an official inquiry continues into Auckland Council's role in the development.
Vanessa Neeson, Henderson-Massey Local Board chair, announced today that Westgate's new town square has been officially named Te Pumanawa Square. But the Auditor-General inquiry into the council's role in the wider development is yet to conclude.
"In 2010, Waitakere City Council entered into a set of agreements with New Zealand Retail Property Group Limited and related companies for the development of a new town centre at Massey North.
This development is part of the overall Northern Strategic Growth Area (NorSGA) project. The agreements set up a collaborative project between the Council and NZRPG, with NZRPG managing the construction project for both the Council's and its own parts of the development," the Auditor-General's office said.
"Auckland Council became responsible for the project when it was created on 1 November 2010. A number of concerns have been raised with us about the way in which the project was established and is being managed, largely relating to how the line between the public and private benefits of the project has been managed.
"The Auditor-General has decided that it is appropriate to examine and report on these matters, given the public sector's continuing interest in exploring new ways of working with private sector partners and the novel collaborative arrangements in this project.
The inquiry into the project will focus on the period from 1 November 2010, but the background section of the report will describe events before that, as they are relevant to setting the context for the matters we will inquire into.
The inquiry will examine:
• the steps Auckland Council took to assess the project and to put in place appropriate management and reporting systems for the project;
how Auckland Council is:
• managing the risks of conflicts of interest and related-party transactions within this project; and ensuring appropriate separation and allocation of costs for the work carried out for the benefit of Auckland Council and for NZRPG;
• how Auckland Council is checking, monitoring, and reporting on the project's costs and benefits (both tangible and intangible) and progress to management, Auckland Council, and the public; and
• any other matters that the Auditor-General considers it desirable to report on."
A spokesperson for the office said no completion date into the investigation had been announced.
An Auckland Council announcement today on the new square's name described involvement.
"The town square is part of Auckland Council's contribution to the Westgate Town Centre development. It will be a high-quality shared space which allows for motor vehicles, but prioritises pedestrians. The town square is the last piece in the road network which has already been constructed for the town centre. The roads are funded by Auckland Council through Auckland Transport and constructed in partnership with the New Zealand Retail Property Group," Auckland Council said.