Auckland Council Property Limited hindering Auckland Transport on Manukau Transport Interchange?
It seems one of our Council Controlled Organisations are actively hindering another CCO in allowing them to effectively deliver a project that is best bang for buck.
The CCO doing the hindering is Auckland Council Property Limited (soon to be Development Auckland) and the CCO being hindered is Auckland Transport. The site? Lot 59, Manukau City Centre. Sound familiar? It is the site where the proposed Manukau Transport Interchange is due to go.
We have Auckland Transport trying to rush through designs and soon construction for the new Manukau Transport Interchange in time for the South Auckland Bus Network to go live in the second half of 2016. Already their sawtooth designs have attracted my ire which you can read here: Note to Auckland Transport: This is Why You Do NOT Build Sawtooth Bay Bus Stations. I have always been in favour in the linear design owing to operational efficiencies and safety aspects (that is no buses reversing is noted in the linked story above).
However, I have been made aware through sources that Auckland Transport has space constraint issues limited how much of an extensive bus station we can get that is designed to service Southern Auckland (home of 570,000 people) and a (Super) Metropolitan Centre.
So why is space now a constraint for a $23m transport interchange that is good to go now that the Transport Levy is in effect?
The answer is ACPL who own Lot 59 on behalf of Auckland Council.
Auckland Council Property Limited (soon to be Development Auckland as of around September) own Council land on behalf of the Council that is not vested to Auckland Transport nor Port of Auckland. ACPL own the Lot 59 land both where the Manukau Interchange by Auckland Transport is going and the “surplus” land around that interchange.
The blue is set aside for the interchange while the yellow (apart from the top left corner which was meant to be flipped over to Auckland Transport for the interchange) ACPL/Development Auckland would either sell off (see: Questions Around Land Sales) or develop in partnership with developers into mixed residential and commercial use.
From what I have heard Auckland Transport want more land to give an optimum bus interchange for the budget given. The catch is ACPL (even though they sought last year from the Auckland Council Auckland Development Committee chaired by Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse to “sell off” excess land at Lot 59) do not want to “sell” that excess land to Auckland Transport to allow this optimum bus interchange.
In short it seems one CCO is being obstinate towards another CCO under the Auckland Council umbrella.
Okay so how does the above work? Aren’t the CCO’s and main Council meant to work together?
Obviously not with each doing their own little empires (I am being ironic here as I know they operate in silos outside of the City Centre’s City Centre Integration Group).
So we have one CCO wanting to build a bus interchange fit for the New Bus Network. We have another CCO with a mandate gained from main Council to sell off the excess land not being used by that other CCO for a public transport interchange. That same CCO is then not selling or handing over some of that access land to that other CCO to allow a better interchange so the people face the risk of a half baked solution we get stuck with for 30 odd years.
My question then is: Is there any reason ACPL being obstinate or do we need to go to the Auckland Development Committee to get it sorted by resolution?
I am looking forward to responses from both ACPL and Auckland Transport before I decide to boot the issue to the Auckland Development Committee next month. South Auckland does not need a half baked solution (interchange) owing to one or both CCOs being obstinate to each other!