Council owns a significant amount of property that it acquired over the years. Some property was given to Council as a result of a bequest, some came from the local authority restructuring that occurred in 1989, and some property was purchased for strategic reasons.
Council owns property so it can deliver services as defined in the Local Government, and Amendment, Acts of 2002 and 2012 respectively. The range of services Council delivers is varied and so the property asset is diverse.
Owning and managing property has a cost associated with it, including managing tenancies and doing property maintenance, through to earthquake-strengthening costs in some cases.
Concerned at the cost and that some of the property had been purchased for strategic reasons that no longer exist, Council reviewed the property portfolio to determine which properties were core or non-core to Council business.
In 2014, Council developed principles as a guide to help identify whether properties are core or non-core. In 2015 the Property Strategy, which went through a public consultation process, was developed and adopted by Council.
The Property Strategy can be viewed below. It provides an overarching framework which enables Council to:
- critically examine Council’s property portfolio
- assist in decision-making.
Property Strategy(PDF, 5MB)
Council’s intent through the Strategy is to only hold and maintain those assets that are needed to fulfil the requirements of primary legislation and give effect to those objectives identified by the community in the Long Term planning process.
In the 2018-2038 Long Term Plan Council resolved to “own and maintain only core property by 2028”.
Core properties in this context means those services and properties managed strategically that are vitally important for the wellbeing of the community, such as:
- the three waters and solid waste,
- those that, as a result of legislation, can’t be provided by others, such as cemeteries, or
- those that are unlikely to be provided by private organisations but are critically important to the health and wellbeing of the community, such as swimming pools, public toilets, and some library services.
Following the adoption of the strategy Council began a process of evaluating its properties. Phase one of the evaluations is completed and sales of property identified as non-core are occurring.