Aucklanders’ views on SkyCity ignored again

It is extremely disappointing that Aucklanders are being shut out of the resource consent decision-making process for the SkyCity convention centre, the Green Party said today.

“The SkyCity convention centre is one of the most significant developments in Auckland this decade and a hugely politically contentious building. It’s extremely disappointing that the public won’t get a say in the non-notified consent process,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“John Key stitched the SkyCity deal up over dinner thinking only about his own interests and those of SkyCity, with no regard to what Aucklanders actually want or don’t want in their city.

“It’s doubly concerning that the Planner’s Report into the convention centre recommends public notification and consultation because of impacts on traffic and built heritage, but this consultation won’t happen.

“Aucklanders deserve to have their voices heard on the effects of the 33,000 square metre convention centre and 300 room hotel, which will change their city in many significant ways.

“Increased traffic, demolition of heritage buildings, and major changes to the built environment are issues that all justify public input from Aucklanders.

“The whole SkyCity convention centre process will go down in history as probably the shadiest ever conducted in New Zealand, with dodgy deals and backroom gambles behind closed doors trumping the public interest at every turn.

“You can’t have the world’s most liveable city, as the mayor famously wants, if those who live in it don’t get any say when it comes to major developments.

“The idea that there aren’t any ‘special circumstances’ surrounding the SkyCity convention centre that would warrant public input is just ridiculous, when it’s probably the biggest development in central Auckland this decade.

“Serious questions need to be asked about whether the system is working when it allows such major developments as the SkyCity convention centre to go ahead without public input.

“Auckland Council wanted the consent process notified so all Aucklanders could have their say, but a panel of commissioners has ruled that the consent will be decided behind closed doors,” said Mrs Turei.