14 Aug 2008

Questions over property deal

3:58 pm on 14 August 2008

The Auditor-General may investigate a property deal made between the Christchurch City Council and a property developer.

The council is set to spend almost $17 million to buy five sites from developer Dave Henderson.

But the move has drawn criticism from many who believe Mr Henderson contributed to Bob Parker's mayoral campaign and guidelines were ignored so the deal could get passed.

The Office of the Auditor General says it has received informal concerns about the deal, but no formal complaints have been made.

It says it is keeping an eye on the proceedings to see if an investigation is warranted.

But Christchurch City Council's chief executive says he's not concerned about the possibility of the deal being scrutinised.

"The Auditor-General will always investigate any complaint from the rate payer and we are used to it," says Tony Marryatt.

"Most big decisions made by this council will have some people agreeing with it and some who don't. The ones that don't seem to go to the Ombudsman and the Auditor-General to try to get the decision overturned."