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Taxpayers’ Union warns against Porirua support for adventure park

News from NZTU
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is calling on the Porirua City Council to cancel its underwriting of a proposed Canadian-led privately owned adventure park slated for public land after a similar project created a huge liability for Christchurch ratepayers.

It comes after the Council agreed to stump up $4 million of ratepayers’ money to underwrite the operations of the park, expected to include a gondola, a surf simulator, and zip-line.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesperson Jordan Williams says “Councils have no business underwriting private investments in surf simulators and zip-lines, and should instead be focused on providing cost-effective core services. Porirua rates are already unjustifiably high and this would only add on to bills of those who can least afford it.”

The Canadian outfit behind the Porirua project also developed the struggling Christchurch Adventure Park, which required a $4.9m bailout from the Christchurch City Council to keep it afloat amid lower-than-expected visitor numbers and revenue figures. The Council initially coughed up $2 million for a share in the project and underwrote it with a bank guarantee of $4 million – the same figure for the Porirua park.

“This whole adventure park idea is like The Simpsons’ Lyle Lanley ‘monorail’ sales job. Other cities have tried it and paid the price.”

“Porirua City Council should heed the lessons learnt from Christchurch and cancel this boondoggle before it costs ratepayers a dollar more,” says Mr Williams.