I Smell NIMBYism in Denying South Auckland Employment and Hospitality

Local Board and Councillor NIMBY Hotel Development

 

Tomorrow at the Finance and Performance Committee there will be a decision whether the Committee is to ‘dispose’ of Reserve land in front of the Vodafone Events Centre in southern Manukau to allow a 120-bed 3-4 star hotel be built.

 

From Auckland Council:

Finance and Performance Committee

21 March 2017

 

Disposals Recommendation Report

File No.: CP2017/02778

Purpose

  1. To obtain approval to dispose of three council-owned properties that Panuku Development Auckland (Panuku) considers suitable for sale.

Executive summary

  1. Capital receipts from the sale of surplus properties contribute to Auckland Plan outcomes and the Long-term Plan 2015-2025 (LTP) by providing the Council with an efficient use of capital and prioritisation of funds to achieve its activities and projects.  In the 2016/2017 financial year, the LTP has forecast the disposal of non-strategic council assets to the combined value of of $69 million.
  2. In accordance with the Local Government Act 2002, the annual Statement of Intent (SOI) states the activities and intentions of Panuku, the objectives that those activities will contribute to and performance measures and targets as the basis of organisational accountability.  For the 2016/2017 financial year Panuku is required to identify properties from within council’s portfolio that may be suitable for potential sale to a combined value of $75 million and to sell $50 million of property by 30 June 2017.
  3. The first property presented in this report comprises part of 770R Great South Road, Manukau.  It is subject to a 99 year lease to the Second Nature Charitable Trust (Second Nature) and is a reserve subject to the Reserves Act 1977.  Second Nature operates the Vodafone Events Centre which is located onsite.  Second Nature’s master plan for the Vodafone Events Centre identified having a hotel onsite as an integral element to its ongoing success.
  4. To enable such a development to occur, Second Nature approached Auckland Council seeking to revoke the reserve status and purchase approximately 4,594m2 of 770R Great South Road, Manukau.  As 770R Great South Road, Manukau is subject to a 99 year lease to Second Nature, Auckland Council as lessor can only dispose of the subject parcel of land to Second Nature as lessee until the expiration of the lease term.  Given this, the proposed hotel and apartment complex can only be realised if Auckland Council agrees to sell its lessor’s interest over the subject parcel of land to Second Nature as lessee.
  5. To ensure full transparency is provided to the Finance and Performance Committee about Second Nature’s proposal, Second Nature has advised that it intends to on-sell the subject parcel of land to the Safari Group (NZ) Limited (Safari Group) to undertake the development of a 120 bed, three to four star hotel and apartment complex.  Second Nature undertook its own procurement process when selecting the Safari Group as its preferred developer.  Auckland Council and Panuku were not involved in the procurement process.  Second Nature has entered into a conditional agreement with the Safari Group to sell the subject parcel of land to construct the proposed hotel and apartment complex.
  6. The rationalisation process for the 4,594m2 portion of 770R Great South Road, Manukau commenced in October 2016.  Consultation with Council and its CCOs, the Manurewa Local Board and iwi authorities has now taken place.  No alternative service uses have been identified for the subject portion of land through the rationalisation process.  The feedback received during the internal consultation and iwi engagement was supportive of the proposal.  The Manurewa Local Board endorsed the reserve revocation of the subject parcel of land in December 2016.  The Manurewa Local Board will consider the proposed disposal at its March 2017 business meeting and its resolution will be tabled at the Finance and Performance Committee meeting.
  1. As no alternative service uses have been identified for the subject portion of land, we recommend the revocation of the reserve status and disposal of approximately 4,594m2 of 770R Great South Road, Manukau.  Final revocation of the reserve status will be subject to completing the statutory requirements of the Reserves Act 1977 and Local Government Act 2002, including public advertising.
  2. ……
  3. …….

 

 

Recommendation/s

That the Finance and Performance Committee:

a)      approve, subject to the satisfactory conclusion of any required statutory processes:

i)        the revocation of the reserve status of approximately 4,594m2 of 770R Great South Road, Manukau comprised of an estate in fee simple more or less being Section 1 SO 361058 contained in computer freehold register 440697 as it is no longer required by Auckland Council for reserve purposes;

ii)       the disposal of approximately 4,594m2 of 770R Great South Road, Manukau comprised of an estate in fee simple more or less being Section 1 SO 361058 contained in computer freehold register 440697 as it is no longer required for reserve purposes to the Second Nature Charitable Trust;

b)      agree that final terms and conditions be approved under the appropriate delegations;

c)      note, in the interest of full transparency, that the Second Nature Charitable Trust has entered into a conditional agreement to sell approximately 4,594m2 of 770R Great South Road, Manukau to the Safari Group (NZ) Limited;

d)      note that in the event of Panuku Development Auckland and the Second Nature Charitable Trust concluding a sale and purchase agreement at full and fair market value for Auckland Council’s interest in approximately 4,594m2 of 770R Great South Road, Manukau, the Second Nature Charitable Trust will in turn make unconditional its current conditional sale and purchase agreement with the Safari Group (NZ) Limited to enable the construction of a hotel and apartment complex on the site;

e)      note that the Second Nature Charitable Trust has undertaken its own procurement process in selecting the Safari Group (NZ) Limited for the development of a hotel and apartment complex at 770R Great South Road, Manukau and that the Second Nature Charitable Trust has entered into these commercial arrangements as an independent, standalone entity in accordance with its own objectives;

 

 

Comments

General

  1. Panuku and the Auckland Council’s Land Advisory team in the Community Facilitiesdepartment work collaboratively on a comprehensive review process to identify properties in the council portfolio that may be suitable to sell.  Once identified as a potential sale candidate Panuku takes the property through a multi stage engagement process.
  2. The first phase of the process involves engagement with all council departments and relevant CCOs.  The engagement establishes whether a property is needed for a future funded project or whether it must be retained for a clear strategic purpose.  Once a property has been internally cleared of any service requirements, Panuku then consults with local boards, mana whenua and ward councillors.  All sale recommendations must be approved by the Panuku board before a final recommendation is made to the governing body.

Consideration

Local board views and implications

  1. Local boards are informed of the commencement of the rationalisation process for specific properties.  Following the close of the EOI period, relevant local boards are engaged with.  Panuku attend workshops with the relevant local board and provide information about properties being rationalised in its local board area.  A report is subsequently prepared for the local board business meeting so that its views can be formalised.
  2. If a local board wishes to retain a site, its views are considered by Panuku and if necessary referred to relevant council departments for consideration.  The local board may be asked to prepare a business case which sets out the service need that will be met by retaining the site, along with how the service use will be funded.  Panuku and relevant council departments or CCOs work with local boards in preparing the business case.  The business case is then considered by the cross council steering group.  If the business case is accepted and funding is identified, the property is transferred back to the service portfolio.  If the business case is not accepted, the business case is included in the report to the governing body for a political decision.
  3. Property specific feedback received is included in the Local Board Engagement section of the property attachments to this report.

……

Source: http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2017/03/FIN_20170321_AGN_6792_AT_WEB.htm

 

Further Information:

Manukau Hotel Development
Source: Auckland Council

 

Manukau Hotel Development 5
Source: Auckland Council

 

 

 

Manukau Hotel Development 4
Source: Panuku Development Auckland

 

 

The hotel would be a 120 bed, 3-4 star facility right in front of a major events centre, near the Manukau Super Clinic and easy distance by bus to Manukau City Centre. With the Northern Stars Netball Team (based in Papakura) using Vodafone Events Centre as their home playing ground the hotel comes at a perfect time when they host visiting teams and their supporters. Of course the hotel would also serve events at the Events Centre, Wero Whitewater Park, the Super Clinic as well.

 

Manukau SHA site and in comparison to where it is

 

The land is currently idling redundant and one thing Manukau is not short of is surface parking lots. To use it as a hotel would indeed fulfil objectives of the Panuku Development Auckland Transform Manukau High Level Project Plan in terms of employment and attracting further private investment into the core of Southern Auckland. That is why when I see this from our usual NIMBY suspects it will make me both frustrated and very angry: Manurewa Local Board chair decries “flipping” of council land for hotel development.

I am not going to dignify the article into this post, not when this is not the first time the Manurewa Local Board Chair, and of the Manurewa-Papakura Ward Councillors have NIMBYed out developments in the past.

Examples include:

  • NIMBYing out the Unitary Plan for the residential area south of Manukau City Centre. The area started as Terraced Housing and Apartment Zones and was down scaled to the restricted Mixed Housing Suburban Zone during the three year Hearings process. The Council in the end reverted the northern sections to THAB zoning and the south-east to Mixed Housing Urban Zoning leaving the middle as MHS (arguing floodplain from the stream in the area)
  • Pre Super City the Manukau Rail Station was meant to be in front of the south entrance of the mall, with the Manukau Rail South Link also built. Penny pinching from the Councillor then (along with others) meant the link was never built and the station placed where it now is (not desirable but will do)

 

The only reason I would ever see or want rejection of this land sale for the hotel is if the majority of Iwi consulted (and you can see in the agenda report) rejected the proposal (they support the development). None has although one did reassert its wider claim per Treaty settlement. With that the equation becomes simple:

  • Employment opportunities
  • Better utilisation of land that is currently a parking lot
  • Tourism and economic opportunities for the South via the hotel development and Transform Manukau

The hotel development ticks all three so when do we get to turn the first sod at the site?

 

To deny the hotel on under-utilised land is to deny Southern Auckland opportunities of employment, tourism, hospitality and further investment. Also where will the visiting netball teams stay? A hotel RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE EVENTS CENTRE would be a boon as the new ANZ Championship league matures. 

 

Manukau Transform Project area
Source: Panuku Development Auckland

 

 

 

 

 

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