Under pressure from constant claims that the merger of 8 councils into the one-council super-city is costing more money, Auckland Council has found the need this week to issue a statement saying its accommodation moves would save more than $100 million – over 20 years.
The statement wasn’t attributed but some of the information looked familiar. It could have been attributed to former council chief executive Doug McKay, because he outlined some of the savings exactly 2 years ago, when the council agreed to buy the ASB Bank Centre on the corner of Albert & Wellesley Sts (left, beside Sky Tower, as seen from the old council building) for $104 million.
Mr McKay said in July 2012 the council could buy & operate the ASB building for an average $2.7 million/year less over the next 10 years, after refurbishment, than the present mix of owned & rented cbd accommodation. The council had estimated its savings would rise to $5 million/year by year 20.
That “by year 20” has changed to an average of $5 million/year over the whole 20 years in the latest statement, which said the council was reducing its central-city accommodation from 7 to 3 buildings “to save money and create more efficient & productive work spaces”.
“Savings are being realised through exiting leases on rented offices, operational efficiencies, better utilisation of space and reduced time travelling between offices. Staff productivity & effectiveness are also expected to improve as teams & groups work more closely together.
“In the long term, approximately 2400 staff will be accommodated in 135 Albert St, including space for elected members.
“Some departments that were in Bledisloe House have already moved to 135 Albert St, enabling staff in rented office space, such as on Hereford St, to move to Bledisloe House or Albert St.
“As part of the current work to upgrade Bledisloe Lane, the customer services centre & reception presently in the ground floor area of the civic administration building will be moved into the ground level of Bledisloe House.”
What the latest statement omits is what the council proposes to do with its old headquarters.
Attribution: Council release.