A truly disappointing outcome, especially after the amount of effort from Sharon and our community representatives, and the significant time and public cost incurred by today’s proceedings.
Despite compelling arguments from concerned citizens, Councillors appeared blind to reason – and stood their political ground rather than admitting to the value that one, small, individual park has to the people of the community. Not once did Council talk about selling the underperforming port rather than valuable greenspace, or that the open-space policy they base their decision on was discounted by independent commissioners as only fit for acquisition of more green space – never for supporting disposal.
Time has moved on from when the decision was made to sell Fortyfoot Park and other greenspaces across Auckland – a poignant moment today was the question posed by Councillor Watson – whether the sale of Fortyfoot Park will make a marked difference to Council’s current financial state? To which the response was a clear ‘no’, it is in a totality of sales, and the indicated $2m-$3m one-off gain will not make a difference. However, whether it be due to political or personal motives, the Mayor and Councillors supporting the sale of parks and greenspaces from Auckland communities won – and once again, the people they serve lost out.
I think today reiterates the hypothesis that the current Council is dysfunctional and motivated by personal and political views; and while Council is not able to recognise true value to its constituents, is not fit to serve the people of Auckland City. Even more alarming is the presence of potential mayoral candidates who today voted against the public’s wishes – threatening people’s trust and confidence in Auckland Council may be unlikely to return.