The Sky City National Convention Centre fire brings the Government Auckland relationship to a very sharp edge. It was tense before. It’s worse now.
They are both co-investors in City Rail Link. It’s the biggest single project risk either of them have taken. It will continue to cause neighbourhood stress for years.
They are both co-investors in the Amerca’s Cup 36 preparatory work. This one’s going well.
Downtown Auckland works including the ferry terminal rebuild need to be done by 2021. It’s crushing Quay Street.
Albert Street building construction is under full noise – half of the sites on the street are in demolition or construction, even excluding CRL.
Sky City’s National Convention Centre is itself the result of a massive Government commercial and legislative deal. They haven’t delivered on that deal.
A fresh Auckland CBD needs to be fully completed for 2021. No excuses. It’s Auckland’s most important year since electrification prior to WW1.
Then there’s the Government-Auckland relationship about light rail .Can the ATAP relationship be salvaged after this?
The moment is similar but greater than that before Rugby World Cup 2008. Central and local government must to stand together in front of the media and opinion leaders and demonstrate why we should all still have confidence in them.
There’s more tax-and-ratepayer money riding on this than anything outside the Christchurch earthquake. Except with this one we know the date it’s coming.
The focus on 2021 is very high in central and local departments. All components need to work, and be delivered on time. They are now scrambling. The whole thing is brittle: capable of breaking and failing.
The loss of the Convention Centre shouldn’t dent public confidence in itself. Other partnerships like Tamaki Transformation is now showing strong results. Perspective is in order.
But the Government-Auckland relationship is being really tested.
The Prime Minister is great in a crisis. But can she muscle Ministers and Departments to get them all back on track?
That’s the confidence question.