The Westland District Council's property company can
expect more questions later this month over where it is getting
the money for investigations into the 127km Haast-Hollyford
Westland District Property Ltd has spent $180,000 on the
project so far and is budgeting to spend another $200,000
Westland district councillor Allen Hurley told the Otago
Daily Times he wanted to know where the property company
was getting the money.
He was concerned it could be ''selling off the family
''Have they got the mandate to do that?''At last month's
council meeting, Cr Hurley said councillors were ''in the
dark'' over progress on the investigations and he called for
more council involvement in the project.
Cr Hurley told the ODT he would be raising his
concerns again at the council's next meeting on February 28.
The property company announced in November it had signed a
memorandum of understanding with overseas investors willing
to put up $220 million to build a toll road through the
remote corner of South Westland, to improve tourist links
between the West Coast and Milford Sound.
Cr Hurley said councillors had not been told who the
''We have asked but they won't give it to us.''
Cr Hurley said he did not necessarily need to know who the
investors were but he did want a breakdown on the cost of the
road: ''basic stuff that the [council] should know and we
just aren't getting the information''.
Cr Hurley said councillors also had not been given details of
how the $180,000 had been spent.
''We keep asking questions but we keep getting fobbed off.''
An ODT request to council chief executive Tanya Winter
for details on how the $180,000 had been spent was declined.
Ms Winter said she had been advised by the property company
the spending details were ''commercially sensitive'' and if
revealed could lead to the identification of the company's
partner, which would be a breach of the company's memorandum
Property company chairman Durham Havill said it had spent
money on legal advice and ''looking at the whole
''Although it seems a lot of money, when you are looking at
the complexity of something that hasn't been done in New
Zealand, looking at the toll road, we welcome the investor
but we also have to safeguard the territorial local
''So we have had to take quite a bit of advice on it.''
He said the overseas investors had spent ''a lot more than we
have'' on such things as costing the road.