Some of you have contacted me regarding concerns over the article that appeared on Stuff.co.nz on Wednesday regarding the sale of Remuera Golf Club land and linking it to the statements made by Phil Goff as a candidate about the sale of golf courses.
The facts of the situation are that Auckland Council is not selling Remuera Golf Course land, it is selling its own land. The land is not currently leased by Remuera Golf Club and hasn’t been for some time. The 2.8ha strip of land was put up for sale to help mitigate the approximately $60m unbudgeted cost of buying Colin Maiden Park in 2013. Our community was extremely keen to keep this wonderful 20ha park as open space for sport and recreation. The decision to sell this land predates this term of council (i.e. Phil Goff’s Mayoralty and mine as the Councillor for the Orakei ward).
The Orakei Local Board (2013, when I was chair) reluctantly agreed not to object to the sale to get the purchase of Colin Maiden over the line. Frankly I’m a little surprised that it has taken this long to action.
Stuff has made amendments to their article to make it clear that the land is not in fact part of the golf course.
If you are unable to make this time, don’t worry I’m always available to have a chat on 021971786.If I don’t answer ( which means I’m probably in a Council meeting) please try James Stephens 021801175 and he will let you know when I’m available.
College Rifles to get upgraded turf
I was extremely pleased to be able to support College Rifles to obtain a Council grant of $750,000 for the renewal of the two artificial fields which are expected to cost approximately $2 million. The capacity of our sports field network is a key issue for Auckland as we grow and need to provide facilities for people to enjoy their sport and keep physically fit. These fields provide a significant proportion of the winter sports capacity in Central East Auckland with 74 hours out of the total of 291 hours of rugby and training in the area (25%). Without this investment we stood to lose these fields from the network and finding an alternative would not be cheap! This $750,000 investment represents great value for money for ratepayers and a significant win for our sporting community.
I’d like to thank Keith Ratcliffe of College Rifles Rugby Union Football Club for his hard work in advocating for this.
Last year I joined in many in the community in sharing my disappointment with the level of service being delivered by some of Auckland Council’s new facilities maintenance contractors. At the time we were seeing long unkempt grass in our parks and reserves, overflowing bins and other items that were not up to the standard we expect.
Having publicly stated my disappointment at that time, I think it only right to now publicly recognize the improvements that the contractors have made over the past few months to rectify their practices.
Project 17 was ambitious but it was designed to make our parks look better not worse. I was keen to see it implemented so that Aucklanders could reap the benefits of a system that delivered better value for money and didn’t see work being carried out just because it was diaried.
Since the debacle last spring I think it is fair to say that the contractors have greatly improved in the Orakei Ward. As your Councillor, I am given a weekly report into the performance of the maintenance contractors. Over the past few months the reporting has shown good trends overall and most pleasingly there are indications that where an item is ‘failed’ it is quickly rectified. Thanks must also go to the OLB who have monitored this well.
Looking after the region’s public spaces is hard work which requires a considerable amount of coordination, communication and attention to detail across the diverse set of tasks to be attended to.
I’d like to thank everyone for bearing with us and remember, if you do see our public areas looking substandard, please don’t hesitate to let Council know about it on (09) 301 0101.
Regional Fuel Tax
Remember only a few days left to send through your views on the Regional fuel Tax. Consultation closes Monday May 14 at 5pm www.akhaveyoursay.nz
Cr. Desley Simpson