Address to Henderson-Massey Local Board 1st November 2012
Madam Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It’s more than a year now since more than 100 home owners in Te Atatu South received advice from Auckland Transport that parts of our properties were required for road widening. We were promised Auckland Council would ensure the compensation was negotiated fairly.
In July 2012 I raised a number of concerns with Tau Henare, MP, and on 29 July submitted 13 questions to him. These were forwarded to Len Brown, who in turn, forwarded them to Auckland Transport. On 10 October, in response to those questions, Doug Snell, Acting Property Manager for AT tendered 4 pages of flannel lacking in specification. On 15 October I forwarded a copy of that document to all members of this Board. It claimed “The Local Board has been consulted and kept updated throughout the whole public consultation and design process.” I asked the Chair if she felt the Local Board had been adequately consulted and kept up to date. I have not yet received a response.
As offers come in to property owners via ACPL we are aware of a growing number of inconsistencies.
In April two TPOG members were offered $12000 each for road frontages of 38.73 and 56.46 sq m. This insult was widely publicised.
A summary of known offers to date is presented at the end of this speech.
3/340 Te Atatu Rd contested the $3000 offer and has since agreed to settle for $3500. It is my understanding that 1/340, 2/340, 4/340, 5/340 and 6/340 have since been offered an additional $500 each for their 1/6 shares of a 10.54 sq m. piece of driveway. This works out at $1992 per sq m.
Yet the pittance offered for a front section of 56.46 sq m worked out at $212 per sq m.
SECTION 17 OF THE Public Works Act
There has been a lot of talk about good faith bargaining but the so-called “open-market” negotiations when a property owner knows they are going to lose their land anyway, is a contrived situation. Council and its subsidiaries are operating from a position of strength whereas the only strength property owners have is the sharing of information and what a plethora of inconsistencies that has exposed.
A number of assurances have been given but they amount to no more than rhetoric.
Information provided is often unreliable.
I have many instances but to illustrate just one recent one.
On 2 October Owena Schuster for AT advised me there had been 15 settlements to date, but a week later on 10 October Doug Snell for AT advised “At time of writing, 12 settlements have concluded.” i.e. a drop of three settlements in one week.
A settlement is after all, a settlement! One of our members is still waiting for payment for land taken from him by Waitakere City Council 14 years ago!
I put the following questions to this Board.
- Does the Board feel it has been kept adequately up-to-date on this issue?
- What is the total amount spent to date on lawyers for this project?
- What is the total amount spent to date on valuers for this project?
- What is the total amount spent to date on consultants for this project?
- Is the Board aware of the actual budget?
- What is the total amount of time spent by paid staff on this project?
- What is the total amount of money paid to property owners to date?
- How will the Council ensure compensation is negotiated fairly?
- When and how does the HMLB intend informing affected property owners of its Community Advocate proposal?
If you are unable to answer any of the above questions could you please refer me to the appropriate source of information.
TABLE OF OFFERS
1A Covil Ave X lease $3000
302A Te Atatu Rd Driveway $3000
1-8/318 Te Atatu Rd Driveway 1/8 each $20000
1-6/340 Te Atatu Rd Driveway 10.54 sq m 1/6 ea $18000
269 Te Atatu Rd Road front 38.73 sq m $12000
273 Te Atatu Rd Road front 56.46 sq m $12000
220A Edmonton Rd Road front 33 sq m $20000
309 Te Atatu Rd Road front $20000
311 Te Atatu Rd Road front 44 sq m $25000
313 Te Atatu Rd Road front 46 sq m $20000
338 Te Atatu Rd Road front 52.7 sq m $28000