Ken’s $10 offer for council building

Ken Evans is offering the city council $10 for the former administration building that is scheduled for demolition.

Tauranga man Ken Evans' offer to take the city council administration building off its hands for $10 is being rebuffed by councillors.

Chair of the city transformation committee Larry Baldock says if Ken had made his offer last year, he would possibly have gotten a hearing.

But making it at the last minute while tenders are being called for the building's demolition, is not going to happen.

Larry's replying to Ken's letter to the Mayor and councillors offering to repair it and lease it out as office space on behalf of a citizens trust.

“There's been extensive examination of it, not only the official reports but others with experience in the industry considering it's not worth replacing,” says Larry.

“Ken can't come along at this late stage with weird and wonderful ideas about something and expect council to stop. We are trying to transform the city and that building is not part of the transformation.

“There's nothing attractive about it. We have got tenders out now for its demolition.”

Ken is proposing that instead of paying for its demolition, the council could instead sell it for$10 to a group of citizens - who will see it independently inspected, repaired and leased out as office space.

They will lease the land off council and profits from renting the office space will be used by the trust to fund projects about the city.

His understanding of the public reports are that the building was soundly constructed, it would not fall down in an earthquake and people could get out safely.

Ken says the report also said no current earthquake strengthening is required of it in its present condition.

“So the building is on a site which is subject to liquefaction,” says Ken. “That whole area of flat land there used to be a swamp. That is an issue we would face if and when we had to.

“My approach is what's wrong with the building at the moment. Why isn't it still occupied by the council staff?

“Council staff came up with this wonderful thing, about toxic mould. I can find mould in my house and I'm sure I can find mould in your house. It's just a fact of life that it happens.

“But for the councillors to all fall over themselves and say, ‘Oh my goodness, we have to let the staff go because their health is threatened'.

There was one staff member affected and the councillors were not able to see the doctor's report on the person because of privacy issues.

“So the council allowed this to happen without any real evidence at all. It's just quite amazing what has happened here. This is the biggest con job that the council has ever accepted.”

The building report says window rubbers, window catches and silicone around a couple of holes. The sort of thing a home owner would have repaired without too much cost, says Ken.

“I think what the staff have cunningly done is said ‘if we want to bring the building up to the top seismic specifications, it's going to cost millions'. The report says it is perfectly useable as it is.”

When councillors checked the building for themselves there was no mould in sight, says Ken. It had all been cleaned up and the building was fine.

Fumigate it, fix the windows, paint it and it would be operative, says Ken.

“Instead we are going to knock down this building that's worth millions and create an open grass space for people to walk around. Then we are going to build a new palace up by Baycourt. To what end?

The amalgamation of Tauranga, the Western Bay and regional councils is in the offing. It will be imposed on them after the election, potentially. They have done it in Auckland. We are certainly over governed.”

And when the three councils do look for a common base, it will be at Barkes Corner, which will be the centre of the city, says Ken.

“So what are these guys doing knocking down a perfectly good building to build themselves a flash palace which they think will bring crowds of people into Tauranga?”


In the interest of fair play,

Posted on 23-03-2017 09:10 | By R. Bell

I have reread the reports. They highlight dozens if not hundreds of faults, some serious, others minor. They confirm major leakage issues with the roof. Major issues around the foundations. Major issues with probable internal rot in walls. e.t.c. All windows have to be replaced, due to serious leakage. Fire safety, Seismic issues. Can they be repaired? yes, but the cost to meet tightening building standards, and all safety requirements makes it foolhardy to even consider. Robin Bell.

Your wrong Roadkill,

Posted on 22-03-2017 08:39 | By R. Bell

I have read the reports,Refer Letters to the Editor March 10 Kens letter and Mayor Brownless response. Links to reports. In his above letter he claims 'all mould removed" you cannot wipe away mould. All surfaces affected HAVE to be removed completely. That requires a virtual gutting of the building. On balance, at this point I for one will go for the proven integrity of Mayor Brownless weighted against Kens proven propensity for what I consider to be unreasonable criticism of elected council. Robin Bell.


Posted on 21-03-2017 17:17 | By Roadkill

Your responses seem to be absolutely that desired internally by TCC staff, i.e. all the appearances of consultation, listening but the only option they want to consider is demolish it. Is that a conspiracy ... maybe it is, but what I can tell you is that like it or not it is a complete and utter rort of ratepayers, due process and makes a complete joke of anyone bothering to vote as those that are voted in obviously care not for what they are doing, how or why.

Robin ...

Posted on 21-03-2017 13:07 | By Roadkill

When you have read it then obviously you will question why it then needs to be demolished. When you get to that point let me/us all know.

Not read it?

Posted on 21-03-2017 11:44 | By Roadkill

Robin, clearly you have not read the consultants report that the building is sound, until you do and have confirmed that you have then there is little hope of having a meaningful and objectivity discussion with you for obvious reasons.

No sidestepping by me Murray.

Posted on 18-03-2017 13:10 | By R. Bell

Respect has to be earned. When making accusations of conspiracy it is encumbent on both you and Ken Evans to provide firm evidence. You do not. Anecdotal remarks are not good enough. If Council is overstating its case, PROVE them wrong. Prendos are a leading building consulting company, PROVE that they are complicit in this "conspiracy". They led the inquiries into leaky homes,strongly criticised by Master Builders who claimed they didn't need to remove untreated timber,as recommended by Prendos. How irresponsible is that? When you dismiss the danger of mould, particularly strachybotrys, you carry no responsibility nor does Ken Evans. Council does not have that luxury. As for his latest call for a referendum, he has to be joking. Finally Murray, if and when you and Ken provide firm evidence I will be the FIRST to congratulate you both. Robin Bell.

Mr Bell, you sidestep. Respect please.

Posted on 18-03-2017 10:10 | By Murray.Guy

The focus for my post which you choose to ignore, is the response to Mr Evans, the arrogance, by Councillor Baldock, says Larry. Ken can't come along at this late stage with weird and wonderful ideas about something and expect council to stop. We are trying to transform the city and that building is not part of the transformation." There is risk and it can never be 100% removed, always requiring balanced, reasoned, responsible decision making. The presence of risk is often overstated to justify obscene and over the top compliance requirements by bureaucrats and consultants, pandering to egos and inflating private bank accounts at the publics expense. Also used, as in this case as a tool to manipulate a predetermined preferred outcome. Respect, integrity of process, meaningful democratic consultation please. Your mould risk - negligible and unproven.

@ R Bell - master Strachybotrys

Posted on 17-03-2017 15:59 | By Roadkill

Clearly Murray and others have read the reports, consultants "books" that TCC has spent millions on to get to the desired answer staff want, despite that desire the fact remains that the building is sound and weather tight except for a few minor badly done repairs since built. They are easily fixed when you know how. The only option TCC wanted to consider was demolish, demolish, or demolish, so you guessed it, our esteemed Councillors rubber stamped that one ... Perhaps you should hear Former Bill Faulkner's comment "Anything Council does costs three times anyone else". That would be the most sound, decent and obvious observation spoken of by Bill in his term at TCC and that includes any others there before or since.

white elephant?

Posted on 16-03-2017 11:45 | By maybelle

Has there been an independent report made on the state of this building?, If so, is it not fair that this is put forward for the publics viewing?, surely then only a totally transparent and informed decision can be made..,surely the council cannot bulldoze a perfectly good building (if proven so) just because they want to???

Strachybotrys, Murray Guy

Posted on 15-03-2017 08:58 | By R. Bell

cannot be eradicated by water blasting and over painting, it requires total removal of all affected surfaces. All mould is dangerous and cannot be overlooked. Central government has just spent millions making homes safer from that very problem. You cannot play fast and loose with other peoples health. Likewise liquefaction, may never happen but neither you nor Ken Evans can assume that. To simply say "we'll face that if or when it happens"is grossly irresponsible given the recent events in Christchurch. I know from personal experience cost estimates are always inflated, for obvious reasons. Last of all Murray, ulterior motive, sadly not up for discussion. Robin Bell.

R Bell, repect please.

Posted on 13-03-2017 16:56 | By Murray.Guy

Mr Evans has read all of the available 'expert reports' in regards the state of the building and bases his comments on those. Mr Evans does not need to pay for further expert analysis. Should he wish to do so, as I have done, his way would be barred by the CEO, Mayor and Councillors, who have refused access. I have also read the reports, Mr Evans comments are consistent with the reports. The ONLY inconsistency is Mr Evans opinion in regards the cost and viability of making the building functional, and having been on the inside and witnessed Council costing's over many years, I have absolutely NO DOUBT that they are somewhat inflated. Is there merit in Mr Evans proposal, I don't know, BUT I do know he deserves respect from the City Council, Cr. Baldock who pre-election promised a survey/referendum on this matter, yourself.

The usual conjecture and fantasy,

Posted on 13-03-2017 10:30 | By R. Bell

from Ken Evans and his support group. No evidence, no independent engineers reports, just the usual "I THINK this or that" So tell the people What are your qualifications? bet you don't. Robin Bell.

cover up

Posted on 12-03-2017 05:13 | By rosscoo

Why do you think they water blast it when windows suppose leak making sure it shows water damage so can get there way. Let Ken have building and go back to Barkes corner for council officer's. There's plenty land out there to expand.


Posted on 11-03-2017 19:29 | By groutby

.we want names and contacts of all council staff approving of the circus involving the "old" building, you can bet that ain't going to happen....anyone going to put their hand up?....anyone?.....

Dance of the damned

Posted on 11-03-2017 16:46 | By ROCCO

The comments listed are damning and it is an sad indictment on the way TCC is run or controlled by bureaurats and wombats .


Posted on 11-03-2017 16:41 | By ROCCO

No proper consultation and quotes already obtained this current TCC outfit is really something else. All those Elected Members who support this travesty should resign immediately and face by -elections then they will find out what the public think about this nonsense. A TCC staff driven scheme with expense no object and failure to take into account existing building is fit for purpose is appalling.

A building passed by TCC own building officers,

Posted on 11-03-2017 15:35 | By SML

the one person "gets sick", black mould gets shrieked, and a perfectly useful building is going to be torn down? What proof? What cost? And the biggie "WHY don't citizens have a say"?? There's nothing transparent about what's happening. And if a councillor can say now "if Ken had made his offer last year, he would possibly have gotten a hearing ", tell us ALL why this steamrolling process can't be stayed now?? Let the citizens see for themselves. They're the one's paying for what appears to be the biggest "Con" Tauranga's ever seen - there have been a few, but this beats them all, hands down!

Larrys Building

Posted on 11-03-2017 13:55 | By sangrae

Come on Greg is it not about time you spoke up thats why we voted for you were going to be transparent, what does Larry know about leaker buildings ect who were the consultants who helped the council staff to make this decision to demolish there own building dept whom are now under investigation bring in the Audit dept and sort this mess out once and for all Helious and Macka are bang on the money.

Get rid of the Evidence

Posted on 11-03-2017 13:09 | By maccasparks

Ken is on to it alright - the want to demo it quick so we will not find out that it's perfectly usable . Another scheme from our council that gets passed regardless - remember water meters!

By Helios

Posted on 11-03-2017 13:01 | By Helios

Good on you Ken for bringing this issue to everyone's attention. It will be extremely difficult if not impossible to get the Council hierarchy (not necessarily the voted lot) to accept a logical alternative and what appears to be a sensible consideration at this late stage. It's not the late $10 offer but the whole issue of transparency and sensible weighing of alternatives and if fully justified by all means build a practical facility for the Council and not necessarily in that area but as suggested by other commentators put it outside the city center. In the meantime leave the current building, fix it and put it into good use as Ken suggested.

Where is the Mayor in all this?

Posted on 11-03-2017 12:45 | By Mackka

Do we have a Mayor or a mouse? The ex mayor was into everything - never out of the papers pushing the next item on the 'wish list'.Greg Brownless lead us to believe before elected that he was the man to put an end to all this unnecessary spending. We see Deputy Mayor Mr Clout reported in the paper on some subjects. He obviously has more 'clout' than just his name on the mainly 'old school' council members, who seem hell bent on spending money we don't have! And changing the council fleet of cars to 'electric' is just another example of the money train rushing headlong to another rate rise!And for the LAST time - WE DON"T WANT OR NEED A MUSEUM. Come on Greg do something about this!! Sunlive poll - 62% against!!


Posted on 11-03-2017 12:12 | By Me again

an idea. Let someone with the know how (excluding TCC who don't have any ) fix it up for cheap as apartments for the uni. student, homeless who ever.... just saying OUT LOUD!!


Posted on 11-03-2017 10:20 | By waiknot

Function before form. Oh but it's not your money, sorry I get it now.

That stops any speculation then..

Posted on 11-03-2017 10:18 | By groutby

....about the council's ability to look 'outside of the square' and have any forward or at least alternative thinking at all....THERE ISN'T ANY !! be it a late application or not, civic duty I would have hoped would prevail to at least be seen to be considered. There absolutely a fixed agenda in place in this regard, and of course with other peoples usual..

A challenge that they won't agree to

Posted on 11-03-2017 10:12 | By astex

How about the council, before demolition, have an open day where ratepayers can be shown this so called damage for themselves? Or have they got something to hide?

....and again

Posted on 11-03-2017 10:11 | By Captain Sensible

OUR rate money that most of us work hard for goes towards the luxury for the council. Once again, "Animal Farm" springs to mind. Wouldn't it be great if we, the earners of our own money, could enjoy it before it was stolen under the guise of rates and tax?

here we go again

Posted on 11-03-2017 10:08 | By old trucker

I was told months ago by a councillor that it was already signed off then to be demo,. i wrote to paper over this,not long ago it was being water blasted on outside,immmmmwonder does someone in TCC have a finger in that,the thing is it is all hushed up,and people a scared to ask,there was a full page on this after this mould thing happened it read,(i quote) this has cost $2million so far,TCC saying they have not seen Doctors report on that Sick Kid that works there,is a excuse,was this person on ACC or on full pay(On us) TCC is not listening to REPORTS that it is OK, if this mould was not found they would still be there,So 1 person can say im sick and the whole place is going to the wreckers ball, also it needs to be strengthened,Yeah right,my thoughts only,Sunlive Thankyou,10-4 out.

Good grief

Posted on 11-03-2017 10:06 | By astex

Council would NEVER agree to this idea because it would expose their exaggeration of the condition of the building so that they can have a "flash palace". This whole thing has been a fiasco from the start and they don't want to be shown to be wrong. Funny how no-one has been held accountable for this?

once again we hae been set up

Posted on 11-03-2017 09:39 | By CC8

Council staff are notorious for their mismanagement and blunders, lack of commercial sense and ignorance of the wider public thought.Larry Baldock says right there There's been extensive examination of it, not only the official reports but others with experience in the industry considering it's not worth replacing, says Larry. Did he mean not worth replacing or not worth repairing? Or did the reporter misquote him? Whatever he is wrong, wrong in so many ways . The council is supposed to represent the people of the city, they are supposed to listen and properly consider to concerns of citizens. I think it is high time the citizens of Tauranga forced the council to abide by their wishes.

Like it

Posted on 11-03-2017 09:20 | By overit

Ken is onto something here. I think its a bit late now. Larry says there is nothing attractive about the building, gosh with a paint job and tinkering it would be. I have always been for fixing it up but of course council people want a flash state of the art building at our expense.

Calling the bluff

Posted on 11-03-2017 08:31 | By waiknot

Ken I don't think you will get council support for this. Keeping this building was never on the agenda.


Posted on 11-03-2017 08:07 | By dumbkof2

its ok its other peoples money so dont worry about the cost.

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