May 10, 2015

Councillors consider spending $10m on new chamber

Len BrownLate on Friday we were leaked a secret presentation made to Auckland Councillors in December which reveals that the Councillors are considering spending millions of ratepayer money to build a new council chamber so councillors and officials do not have to walk the 400 metres to the former Auckland Town Hall.

We've spoken to a property developer who has provided us with a 'back of the napkin' estimate that the cost to ratepayers could be between $4.5 and $10 million dollars, depending on the option chosen.

The confidential briefing was requested by councillors who asked officials for "options to improve councillor and public experience" and move the chamber into the Council’s new office tower at 135 Albert Street.

Len Brown promised to cap rates at 2.5%, last week delivered 9.9%, and now we find out councillors want to waste millions on meeting rooms to save them from a 400 metre walk.

Secret Council presentation

This Council act like they have more money than sense. The Auckland town hall is a beautiful building and there is nothing wrong with the existing space. Spending should be on public works, not vanity projects.

135 Albert Street

We’re calling on the Council to live within its means and get back to basics. Ratepayers of Auckland are sick of paying for the Council's luxuries while it tells the public that there is no money left for core infrastructure.

Key facts:

  • Council currently use the ‘reception lounge' on level 2 of the Auckland town hall for full council meetings
  • Councillors asked officials to provide options for a new council chamber in its office tower at 135 Albert Street
  • 135 Albert Street was purchased by the Council for $104 million in 2012 
  • The existing Town Hall would remain in Council ownership and retained for ceremonial space
  • The Council has refused to provide its estimate of the costs. The Ratepayers Alliance has been advised by a property developer that the costs could be between $4.5 and $10 million depending on the design options chosen

Update: One News on council chambers

One News tonight covered the Council's plans to build a new chamber just half a kilometre from where the old one is.

One News screenshot


Tell Len Brown to do what he promised and not let rates get out of control - Sign the petition here


A copy of the presentation is embedded below.