Is anyone accountable at Auckland Council?

Penny Perrit must resign

Auckland Council Regional Planner has been caught squarely lying to the Councillors over the Ports of Auckland reclamation.

Last week Councillors met to vote for the activity status that would go forward to the Unitary Plan where it concerns the port reclamation.

Penny Perrit advised the Councillors that Auckland Council had taken legal advice that it couldn’t uphold a non-complying activity status for reclamation and recommended they vote favourably for a discretionary activity status. That gives opportunity for non-notified consents for reclamation in the future.

It was a bold-faced lie because they had advice stating that a non-complying activity was able to be upheld. In short the legal test really needed to be thrashed out in Court at a later date and Council should have opted to stand firm. For now.

At first it appeared that Council were just inept but as news broke that the same Council committee were discussing plans for redevelopment of Captains Cook Wharf and other areas in front of the CBD it became painfully obvious that there is a hidden agenda. ?

Council owns Ports of Auckland and benefits from dividends. In one hand it has a vested interest in ensuring the profitable future of the Port which needs to attract bigger container ships (aside from the fact the channel isn’t deep enough to receive them).

But it is also no secret that Council planners and Urban Designers loathe the location of the port on the waterfront and would dearly love to relocate it and redevelop it. During the Auckland Plan period significant study was undertaken to ‘vision’ a plan for it.

It’s plainly obvious that Council is acting sneakily to protect dividends and eventually create lots more waterfront development land. Think Wynyard Quarter on steroids.

But rather than state that, officers choose to tell porkies.

Penny Perrit must take responsibility and fall on her sword. It’s very much the path for central government bureaucrats to be walked. And so it should happen at Auckland Council.

But she won’t. And this will be the telling signal that Auckland Council is culturally corrupt and in serious moral decline,