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Judith Tizard

9 October, 2001

Access to Albert Park tunnels included in new legislation that takes effect today (9 October)

Exciting new developments will be able to take place in Auckland as a result of three pieces of legislation that come into effect today, says the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister with Auckland Issues, Judith Tizard.

The Auckland Improvement Trust Amendment Act enables the Auckland City Council to develop the tunnel complex under Albert Park and Altern Rd Reserve.

"This is an innovative piece of legislation that will allow amazing enterprise to happen," says Judith Tizard, MP for Auckland Central, who introduced three private members' bills on behalf of Auckland City Council. The bills were passed last Wednesday.

"The Auckland Improvement Trust Amendment Act allows Auckland City Council to explore, develop and reconstruct areas beneath Albert Park that include historic air raid shelter complexes built during World War Two.

"Aucklanders will be able to understand better the concerns New Zealanders had during the second World War, and the provisions that were made to protect the citizens of Auckland. They will also get the chance to understand the geology and formation of early Auckland, develop tourism opportunities, and look at public transport options that could help to reduce congestion in the inner-city."

The Auckland Aotea Centre Empowering Amendment Act extends the management opportunities for the Aotea Centre's Board of Management, so that it might manage other venues in conjunction with the Aotea Centre.

"The magnificent facilities in The Edge complex, such as the renovated Civic Theatre and Town Hall, need to be managed together along with the other entertainment facilities around the Aotea Centre.

"This legislation gives the Auckland City Council the flexibility to manage them in a way that encourages both their commercial and community use. It's a sensible management issue."

The Auckland City Endowments and Reserves Amendment Act allows Auckland City Council to make wider use of four inner-city properties located in Wakefield Street, on the corner of Wellesley & Victoria Streets and adjacent to the Town Hall.

"I commend Auckland City for making these local bills a priority," says Judith Tizard.

"The passing of these bills means Auckland City can look at better commercial opportunities and innovative developments that will be of benefit not just to the central city, but to the Auckland region and to New Zealand.

"These are the sorts of local solutions for local problems and local opportunities that we hope to see extended around New Zealand under the review of the Local Government Act," says Judith Tizard.

"The government is currently looking at giving local authorities powers of general competence under a review of the Local Government Act 1974. One advantage of this will be that local bills such as these, that are really just common sense, won't have to come to the House because local authorities will be able to manage their own affairs to a far greater extent."

The Auckland Improvement Trust Amendment Act enables the Council to develop the tunnel complex under Albert Park for commercial and non-commercial activities, including a museum and other tourist-related purposes, and also provides for the possible construction of a new tunnel for public passenger transport.

The Auckland Aotea Centre Empowering Amendment Act allows the Aotea Centre Board of Management to manage other similar premises or facilities owned or controlled by the Auckland City Council, by agreement with the Council. This will facilitate the co-ordinated management and marketing of the Aotea Centre with other recreational, entertainment, cultural, conference or civic venues currently operated by the Auckland City Council, where this is mutually desirable.

The Auckland City Endowments and Reserves Amendment Act relates to Auckland City properties that were vested as endowments for the city's benefit and improvement under the Auckland City Endowments and Reserves Act 1875. The new Act gives four of these properties a new status so that the council can make wider use of these lands.
The first property is on the corner of Wellesley and Victoria Streets opposite Victoria Park, which has been built-over. The second property is an area at the apex of the Town Hall. The third property is a vacant mid-street island at the top of Wakefield Street. The fourth is a vacant property at the junction of Wakefield Street and Airedale Street, adjacent to the other Wakefield St property.

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