Tamihere calls in Serious Fraud Office over Panuku deal

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Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere has laid a formal complaint with the Serious Fraud Office over the $3 million sale of the Council Administration Block and the 5000 sqm of land that surrounds the 18 storey office tower.

The deal has even left councillors – who have been kept in the dark by Panuku, the property arm of the council, and the mayor’s office – shocked.

Goff said there was a need for secrecy over the financial deal, and insisted the $3m was value for money. Goff has never run a business or a development.

But Tamihere, who has written to the SFO requesting an immediate investigation into the sale and called on Panuku to cease further dealings until after local body election, said this was poor business acumen.

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“This deal stinks and is either incompetence by officials, or worse corruption within the council,” Tamihere said.

“I will be requesting the SFO investigate this deal and question why developer Civic Lane, has been given a sweet honey pot deal.”

Tamihere said the fact Civic Lane had not paid the normal commercial business practice of 10% deposit – $300,000 upfront – when he signed the deal four years ago smelt. They have paid less than $100k.

“The developer has been allowed to sit on one of the most strategic property assets in Auckland city and let it go to ruin. This property must be bought back to market for tenders and value for the ratepayer,”Tamihere said.

“The city cannot wait until after the elections and this must be investigated now,” Tamihere said. Councillor Mike Lee – who unsuccessfully filed a motion to stop the sale – said this “sounds like a bad joke.”

“The people of Auckland are effectively being robbed by the Super City which is meant to represent their interests.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. I remember the days when it was council policy not to sell assets. Now all of a sudden income producing assets have cancer.

    • There are better recipients for public income producing assets, like private donors and crony mates who can do with the money to add to their growing haul. sarcasm. Effectively it’s theft from the entire public and ratepayers of Auckland to a private recipient.

      Can the public get assess to buying the Council Administration Block and the 5000 sqm of land that surrounds the 18 storey office tower for 3m?

      Nope this was a private deal essentially fraud, that allowed the transfer of public assets at a peppercorn rate. If it had been allowed to be tendered and sold legitimately then the price would have been much higher. Outright fraud, dressed up as a sale.

      It is time the SFO actually did their job and stop the corruption going on in the public service that cheerleaders like Phil Goff facilitate and ignore as well as everyone else involved in the sale and cover up of it.

      These sales and overpriced reports have started an alarming precedent to hide information from councillors, the public and anyone else because our officials are so arrogant and out of control.

      Also the underwater Atlantis stadium report that was so confidential it needed redaction by Goff. Laughable apart from it is a growing issue of stupid greedy people bankrupting councils with white elephant projects in NZ and around the world that see many councils going bankrupt due to white elephant projects combined with mates rates public to private ownership transfers, which are not accidents but frauds and incompetence and hiding the above.

      Just like the day trader is prosecuted for ‘hiding’ their loses and continuing to trade illegally which eventually brings down their firm including banks, so should the people involved in Panuku and other un towards transactions that are hidden and covered up be prosecuted as well as prosecution for the corruption aspect of it.

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