Auckland Council snaps up Green Rig

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 08:00 23/02/2013

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Horizons Regional Council's Green Rig has new owners.

The environmental education truck-and-trailer unit, closed down by regional councillors last June, has been bought by the Auckland Council for just under $185,000.

"I think they have got a gem," said Green Rig supporter and Palmerston North representative on the regional council, Jill White.

"I was really sad that the majority of our council voted to take it off our agenda, and I hope that Auckland thoroughly enjoys it.

"I feel that we lost a valuable resource."

The unit, which has provided environmental lessons to more than 80,000 school students, came under fire from some councillors for being anti-farming and too expensive.

The 17-metre articulated truck and trailer unit was custom built for Horizons. It was launched in 2007 at a cost of $1.2 million. About $557,000 of that came from ratepayers. It cost $104,000 a year to run.

The Rig was offered for sale by tender in December.

Horizons' spokeswoman Caroline Rowe confirmed the deal.

"From a management perspective, we are happy to see it continue in an education capacity, and wish its new owners every success."

However, Auckland Council's environmental and sustainability forum chairman Wayne Walker said the diesel vehicle was not green enough for his comfort.

"I certainly wouldn't be branding it as a green rig because, you know, it ain't green."

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