Mayoral Candidate Jo Coughlan today reaffirmed her position that as Mayor she would urge Wellington City Council to acquire Victoria University's Karori Campus to secure options on the land for the future.
“Victoria University has now declared the 7.6 ha Karori Campus, surplus to requirement. As Mayor I will be urging councillors to consider purchasing the land as a strategic asset for the community and the city.
“If we have the asset in the city’s control then we create options for what Wellington may wish to do with this site. This is a large site in the heart of our biggest suburb. There are already a range of views on how we can use all or part of the land – for sporting, cultural, educational and social purposes. There will undoubtedly be strong commercial interest in the site. A mix of commercial and community use for this site may be the best outcome overall. Let’s keep our options open at this stage.”
Coughlan said there was nothing to lose and everything to gain as the land is likely to only become more valuable over time and any surplus to requirement could be on-sold at a later date.
“I am concerned about Wellington’s long term interest. We need long-term, big-picture, big-thinking vision for New Zealand’s capital city. We need to restore the capital city to its rightful place in the nation and take actions that will make Wellingtonians proud over the next 100 years.
“In my view the sale of Victoria University’s Karori Campus is a once-in-a-30-year opportunity for us to review our amenities in the western suburbs, secure a sizable and strategic parcel of land and then on-sell any surplus to requirement to commercial operators to recover our investment.
“We should grab this opportunity to ensure Karori, the western suburbs and the city have the best mix of community and commercial facilities for the future,” Coughlan concluded.