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What’s gone wrong in the West?
John Tamihere©

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What’s gone wrong in the West?
By John Tamihere

On one hand, Westies have to be happy with the investment that has gone into New Lynn and Westgate.

However, the problem with that investment is it shows up a bankruptcy of leadership and planning in what could be the West’s Golden Triangle - the stretch from Rosebank Road, to Lincoln Road into the heart of Henderson.

And have you ever wondered, while you are sitting in another traffic jam trying to get around west Auckland or to the city, what has happened to the millions of dollars of roading works and the years of traffic jams?

Perhaps Winston Churchill might have said: ‘Never have so many laboured and been paid so much to deliver so little.’

One reason for this is the heavy machinery used in those roading projects sit idle for 16 hours a day, but are contracted and paid to be on site for 24 hours a day. Then they start work when we all do. Go figure?

We are one of the few countries that works on what are planned 18-month capital projects, that are then pushed out to 4 year projects. The financial congestion impact these projects have put on tens of thousands of west Aucklanders must be in the millions.

So, is this a rort?

I attended a well populated city council hui at the Bob Harvey Mausoleum the other day. I went because two council controlled companies, Panuku and ATEED were making presentations.

Of course many won’t know what Panuku or ATEED stand for, or do. After their presentations, nor did we.

ATEED is the company that drives economic development, tourism and the like, while Panuku is the mighty Auckland Property Development Company.

Oddly enough, ATEED’s magic recipe for Henderson is to stimulate hundreds more ‘eat joints’ with a particular focus on ethnic foods.

Well, as you can imagine, this went down like a cup of cold sick used for a hangover because we already have 55 eat joints on Lincoln Road, 11 in the Henderson main street and 5 on Central Park Drive. The last thing Lincoln Road, Henderson, needs are the Auckland City Council funding ‘inspiration programmes’ to go into competition with local established businesses.

As for Panuku, over the last 10 years in helping stimulate the Henderson precinct, they have done…. nothing. Their executives are paid handsomely and they hold strategic parcels of land in the district.

But once again, no west Auckland businessman at the West Auckland Business After 5 event held in the Harvey Mausoleum are any the wiser of a renewal or investment programme that must be stimulated to lift the performance of Henderson as a hub.

To add salt to this wound, the city council also announced they are closing the Council’s Local office.

It will be interesting to know what our local Westie councillors Penny Hulse and Linda Cooper have to say because they also attended the same debacle.

Plus, I’m not sure if that reporter who ate and wrote about every eat joint along Lincoln Road has been back for seconds or why a number of ‘eat joints’ have closed or are in the process.


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