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RSA's future in question

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 25/03/2014

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Auckland's bureaucrats have been "conspicuously" absent from community meetings held to save Takapuna RSA, Andrew Williams says.

The NZ First MP and former North Shore mayor says it suggests saving the RSA is "not in their interests".

But that is "not the case", North Shore councillor George Wood says.

Auckland Council officers and Mayor Len Brown's office were invited to attend the meeting held on March 13. Mr Wood says it was "short notice" and a good turnout from Devonport-Takapuna Local Board indicates a willingness to help.

"Council officers can't really do much unless the local board asks them to."

Getting involved from council's side is dependent on the RSA's finances, Mr Wood says. It was revealed earlier this month the 78-year-old RSA is facing liquidation due to an outstanding $48,000 debt to head office.

Mr Williams says the rescue package he believes Auckland Council should have offered would not be ratepayer-funded.

A range of options, including acquiring the building, which is on council-leased land, could have been explored by super-city politicians, he says.

Money "may" have come into the equation, but focusing on future use of the building is key, Mr Williams says.

More than 200 people attended, including volunteer and social service groups, Mr Williams says. The building is in "excellent" condition and could become a community house, he says.

Grey Power North Shore says losing the RSA "would be a disaster".

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