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FERRY WAITING ROOMS.

§ I .'-■ ' c ■ I-';-\bß! COST OF THE NEW BUHBINGS. j •":'■■■ . BY HARBOUR BOABD. .... .. — I the meeting of tho Auckland Har--1 - Venr Board yesterday afternoon, Mr 1 V»pler moved: "Thai the expenditure on 'i ' ti£ i buildiag of the now ferr y waiting I robnw. be limited to the Bum of £20,000, and that the architect be inI jiructed to prepare his plane eoordlng--1 jgpeaking to the motion Mr Napier eaJd it might be as well for him to fpeafl very briefly the history of the new ferry buildings. The Board °«ginally decided to concentrate all ferry traffic en the western side of Queen-street wharf, and thi s "would eventually be flone-Lsp soon, indeed, as the progress ef constructional work permitted of it. >p. e Board had realised that for the convenience of the public it would be necessary to provide waiting rooms. In that connection it had been deemed advisable that the building should contain suites of offices suitable for those whose business was on the wharves, and there had also been a suggestion that there should be shops at one corner, which would produce revenue. AH that ha& teen decided but no sum had been m 3fr°Keyes: I thought £50,000 was named! . , ~ , Mr Napier: I am coming to that; it -.- j t impossible to explain the whole business at "once. I repeat, at that time no £ nn, had been mentioned. Continuing , , Mr Napier said the architect had, been instructed to prepare plans hi accordance with the Board's I ideas, and he did prepare plans for a builomg of two storeys, three storeys and six storeys. Personally be thought, looking at the'matter from a purely business point of view, that a six-storey '. ■bufldjng would pay. Their architect i ha.i suggested that from £50,000 tc j l !£60,000-would bs required for a build- ■} mc of that kind. But after tenders had j been called for they had been given tc 1 understand that these put the cost at \ |£SO,COO or thereabouts. It was felt that ! %ith extras the Board would have tc i spend £90,000 or even £100,000, and £ under the circumstances the Board had I decided not to open any of the tenders I Mr JMae&rlane: That is not the rea- ! Eon why the tenders were not opened. f ; 5 3ir Napier: Well. T dont know whe ■ tier it was a case of post hoc or proptei hoc; different persons have different impressions, and it is certainly my impTession that the tenders were not opened for thafe reason. Bfisnming, Mr Napier saTd he doubted whether the Harbours Act permittee the Board to expend money in the capacity of- building speculators. The Board did not want the building for barboui purposes. Wlat they wanted was ferrj waiting room accommodation. Section 147 of the Act defined tbe works a Har bonr Board might undertake, and ii so far as shops and offices were no part ot such works, he did not think, thej •were justified in undertaking them anc spending money for that purpose. He thought it was possible, if they did so ' that the Auditor-Oeiera) might not tak< open exception, seeing that they were all to be included in one building, birt ... apart from that he submitted that this tvas an inopportune moment for tht Board to commit iteeli to heavy expendi!t -ture for «uch * purpose. They wer( ur^enSTy — In""neeS~rrr- mum >.- — Th&y-baa *-"]M raised £230,000 in London at 93. and that "was a mere fraction of wnai they required. They had to undertakf costly works of an urgent character, such as tne eastern th< .Trail a-t JVeeman's Bay, and so on, anc ' ' 'they were especially in urgent need of ■" "V floating crane. These were the items .. sf expenditure which should receive con before they went into large jpecnlative undertakings which were noi . e3sentaaL He was not a pessimist, bul nrather was he an ostrich. Ijast yeai - {here had been a decline of £3,500,000 in the value of their exports from the Dominion, and from all indications th< figures -would show a further decline this year. Merchants in the city of Auckland were all curtailing , their ord ers a and there was a marked tightness m the money market. If less goods came to Auckland there wonJd be less wharfage to collect;, and he anticipated a shrinkage in the Board's revenue. Tl ■twrald be .ax or Tone monfEs before the effect of the curtailment of orders would fee feltj an 3 tie held that this was not the time to embark upon a large expen icßtere of the sort -under consideration. 'AD the Board wanted -was a plain, substantial structure in good: materials, and sncfT a structure should not cost the Board more than £20,000. The plans which had been submitted would ba more appropriate in Sydney. They ~ ihad aot in Auckland reached the position yet where they could afford tc spend £50.000 or £60,000, if, indeed ihafc was all it was going to cost upon such a structure. They wa.nted money for gfinuine harbour works. They would aare to borrow this money at 4J pei cent., and it was plain from the estimates which had been prepared by theii Secretary of the revenue which the Board could hope to derive from such a bonding phaf there would be practically no margin, more especially in view of - the fact thai they mght not always have all £he offices and shops occupied. H* submitted that there was no "necessity for such a building. They would not fifca co luxurious a building in a port even of the size of Liverpool. He hoped, therefore, that members would support hig motion. Jfr Basley seconded the motion, and in fobg so endorsed all that had fallen - from Mr Napier. Hs characterised the proposal as a piece of useless extrava- - gsnee. . Tie Hon. E. Mitehelson, chairman of the Board, eaid he hoped the Board would •not sarry Mr. Napier'e motion. He hoped 60 for a multitude of reasons. In the first place, it was somewhat lato in the for Mr. Napier to bring up such a .laotioa. Mr. Napier had quoted the Hetsoars Act in support of the contention .-.'.thai £hle was not w proper expenditure fop jhe Board to incur. But ho would refer Mr, Napier to the Auckland Harbour £°ard Empowering Act passed last ses< .-eon In eonaeeUpn with the £1,000,000 I lean, Tha,t Aej, declared that thU money ■W3 4© fca spent upon certain undeyt&kfflgg specified in the first schedule to tke Art, a&4 Ijj £ha± seliedule ene af the ehje«t§ eß.umepate4 v&# the construction ef fery offices buildings, Mr-! Napier; Notihing is said abeut ' pops. CT-oeeeding, Mr, Mitcheison said it had a fanlt of cojeinial public men so far as he could remember that they never looked ahead far- enough. Had they done so in Auckland, th-ey would - not have some nair-pw str-eets the shape : Pf a . dflg's. }eg. If the public would psook ahead instead of fixing their attant. .tian upon a temporary cessa-tion of busjI 4iess, they weulcf sliow more wisdom, Jjet ; -consider, the fvit-ure gro??tl4 of ge^fr jatlen> EcsaThly 3at. JTapler- -was. cosregb pmm 6t«ttemen.t th*t 'the TeTesfte

wouia suffer a temporary shrinkage, but were they on thai; ground afonejo say let iis put up a. £20,000 Wiati 3i oboufe twenty yeaxa kence? knew bow tie city was crowing, and they alieuld look ahead. H they did ae. and were acimated by Gorißideratlen ol the !u* Ure ' ey Y ould doin S tho right • en Ml "' N °4> ier had declared • that there would be no margin. Well, he had before him a letter from thai* ? r ?i^ , them that the teoposed tS midldlng would not cost more th&n ' f £EOjOOO. At 4J t)er cent that mooat J' £2250., to -which Mt be added cost of ■ insurance and one per cent for sinking r Jun , d ' wUoII brought the coat up to £2820, * which was f HO6 ehort of the estimate " of revenue prepared by the eeoretory. Hβ had also asked Mr. Ewington to pre- ■* pare a conservative estimate, and Mr. t Ewiagrton'e estimate showed a margin oJ c S. 608, and it was a very ecmaervative eatia marte. Again, Mr. Napier had suggested v that they could only borrow money at £ 08, but it must be known to him that they c had borrowed enormous sums at par. He n held that a public body like the Harbour ,_ Board should not accept the principle of im electing a building of five storeye—iihat c was the number contemplated—in brick j and stucco, but should put np a fir-at-clase t building which would anticipate the ' t - future and do them credit. He trusted I that the Board would adhere to a pron ject which had been ratified so many times. s Mr. Bradney said he must endorse what the chairman had said. He was, ifc however, glad to see that since he had j. been away, his friend Mr. Napier had o been chewing another cud—the cud of caution. (.Laughter.) That was a good ;. business. c Mr. Entrican said he, too, agreed with > B the chairman. He liad been surprised to a read in the newspapers that Mr. Napier . s intended to move the motion before thorn, t. The site on which they were going to j. build was a very valuable sita, and it y would be a suicidal policy to erect a jt cheap, small building. He wished to sa-y o something with regard to Mr. Napier's declaration that the cutting , doxvn of ord ders by merchants would lead to a serious ;o shrinkage in the Board's revenue. It was j. not, he maintained, possible to cut down .j. orders to any great extent. Some mer;o chants were doing so aa a result of con,3 traction in trade, but it was impossible 3 to cut down the bulk to any extent. The B bulk of goods could not be dispensed t . with. The people were there, and required the goods. It was not the imports of c . drapery houses and fancy 'businesses T which paid the Board's revenue. They i- did not pay much. But people must have 3 . fencing wire and ironmongery. These id goods wore indispensable. If the estimates were reliable they would get a return of seven per cent from the building ,(} it was proposed to erect. He was eoni- vinced that a cheaper and smaller buildd ing would not pay interest on the coat ir of construction. What Sydney was to_v day Auckland would be in the near n future r- Mr. Knsen: Not <n Mr. Entrican: Mr. Kneen is not a pro■t phet or the son of a prophet. (Laughfy tex.) id Mr. Kneen: You have not got the back r e country here that Sydney has. o, Mr. Entrican. said Auckland had a :e splendid back country. We had more •c waste lands than any other city behind it it at present, to be brought into cultiis vation, and there were large areas of ie native lands. Here must be a tremendi- ous influx of population. Men were alre ready coming up here from the south Si -OWiiig'ta'-ooir back country. —TJhe-prKsent 3, depression was of a purely • temporary it character. The last ■wool season had :e been a very satisfactory one; the dairy r, industry was in a splendid condition; ie kauri gum had reached the bottom, and id was on the rise, and the timber industry if was flourishing. is Mr. Smeeton endorsed Mr. Entrican's i- remarks. Keferring to back country, he r ,e pointed out that in a line from Gisbome *t to the West Coast there were tiree and it a haif million acres of untouched land. vt Son. E. MJtche-lson: And the north of n Auckland has not yet been touched! > Sir. Kneen said we had a good back >c country, but not such a back country as ie Sydney had. We had not the droughts J f from -which Sydney always came out on 3" top again. is Mr. Entricai}: That emphasises my Is argument. We are always on top. ;5 JMr. Kneen said he must, on ■d this occasdonj oppose Mr. Napier's ft motion. He thought it was ie a-bout time we ceased erecting , hideous d buildings, and instead of monstrosities, >t went in for something beautiful. The 1_ water front was sufficiently disfigured "- as it was. He favoured the proposal to 3 " erect a handsome building. s ' Sep'lying, Mr. Napier said the chairman ft had referred to the necessity for looking ie ahead. He was quite ac much aware of d the necessity for doing that as was the y chaizman *" Hon. E. Mrtchelson: I was referring to ° a tendency, and speaking quite imperson5. ally. n Contimiing, Mr. Napier said the chadry man had also suggested that he had declared that the Board was obliged to ! . r borrow below par. He knew quite well ** they had obtained hirge sums at pa-r. Bx lT had negotiated one loan at par ior the ie Board 'himself. The ques.tion was not a what they had dons in the past, but what 7 was being , done now. He was etill of opinion that this work at euch a price ? should give precedence to more urgent - c ' harbour works proper. He had, however y brought forward his motion chiefly tor '* tlie purpose of enabling members, especl- •• ally new members, to review the situation. *' It appeared that the opinion ot the ma- * jority of menxbeiß waa that they should attempt to got this building ior & 50,000, n If they could not get it for that sum they n would, of course, have ito do without c it. Under the circumstances ho would v " ask for leave to withdraw his motion. 3jo&ve was granted, and the motion was ' withdrawn, d d ■ ' ■

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FERRY WAITING ROOMS. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 77, 31 March 1909

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