06.11.07 20:33 Age: 10 yrs

Makeover for summit too dear: Banks

Category: Media


Mayor John Banks is opposed to a multimillion-dollar makeover of Mt Eden (Maungawhau) and wants to retain vehicle access to the summit of the popular tourist attraction.

Mr Banks said yesterday that the intention to protect the volcanic cone was honourable but the $10 million to $12 million cost of the upgrade was prohibitive at this time.

"I have an overarching view of life in Auckland City Council that is if it isn't broken don't try and fix it.

"I'm not sure if Maungawhau is broke," he said.

His comments coincided with the start of public consultation on upgrading the natural feature.

Plans include a new visitor centre at Tahaki Reserve costing $6.8 million to $8.7 million and $1.25 million a year to run.

Vehicles would be banned from the summit and replaced with lightweight electric vehicles costing about $3 million, plus $1 million a year to run. Improvements would be made to the summit area.

The upgrade was a pet project of former Mayor Dick Hubbard that became plagued by cost increases and spending on consultants.

What began as a $3 million to $5 million project blew out to more than $10 million after consultants were brought in.

The council had paid more than $270,000 to consultants providing advice on the project up until July.

To read the rest of this article please visit NZ Herald

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