12 Apr 2010

Council's land purchase referred to Auditor-General

9:53 pm on 12 April 2010

The Auditor-General and the Auckland Transition Agency are being urged to intervene over plans to move a historic school.

Auckland City Council wants Monte Cecilia School to relocate to a site 3km from its Mount Roskill location to make way for a park.

Those against the plan say it's an unnecessary waste of money and akin to re-writing history.

Anne Nicholson, a member of the school's board, says there's more than enough room on the current 14-hectare site for both the school and a park.

Two Auckland City councillors have asked the Auditor-General to investigate the decision.

Councillors Cathy Casey and Glenda Fryer say the council passed a resolution in 2000 to keep the school on its present site.

Ms Fryer says this means councillors may have acted unlawfully in their latest decision.

She says the legitimate decision in 2000 was ignored and never acted upon, and she wants a stay to be put on the land sale.

Auckland City deputy mayor David Hay says the move has been on the cards for more than a decade.

Mr Hay says it's in Auckland's best interests to have more green space and he is confident no irregularities will be found if the Auditor-General chooses to investigate.

The Council expects the project to be signed off within the next month.