Where there is smoke there is fire.
Earlier this week former Auckland Regional Councillor Bill Burrill was bleating to the NZ Herald that he was the unfortunate victim of rates rises and that he was pushed off his land forcing a sale of $39m.
But we have discovered that Burrill is frugal with the truth and hasn’t been living on the Flatbush land for over a decade.
In the NZ Herald Burrill was quoted as sayingÂ “Essentially the rates pushed us off. I sold it out of frustration,” he said bitterly, having moved 15km away to Mellons Bay …
Burrill has decried his plight, unable to subdivide nor to afford to stay.
“You end up in a situation where you’re absolutely stuck.Â You’re paying rates but unable to do anything with the land,” he complained.
But hang on…Burrill says he couldn’t afford to stay on the land.
But he hasn’t lived on the land since 2003. Further into the Herald article Mr Burrill is quoted as saying:
“Burrill bought in Mellons Bay because he had always wanted to hear the waves at night: “It doesn’t feel a lot different. It just means I’m not paying those horrific rates.”
But Burrill has lived on his property in Mellons Bay since 2003 paying $2 million for 1824 sqm of cliff top luxury. The Burrills were not pushed off their land by rates recently at all and nor were they struggling to pay the rates. The truth is that the Burrills chose to leave it some time ago, most likely leveraging against the already high value of their farmland in Flatbush.
But this is where the story gets murkier. Both Burrills were at various points of time – Councillors – on two of the most strategically important Council’s relative to their land holdings. Bill was 18 years on the ARC until it was dissolved (thus since 1992). Maggie on Manukau City Council until it was dissolved. Both have been (and perhaps still are) certified by the MFIE as Commissioners able to make planning decisions such as Plan Changes. In 2010 Maggie Burrill sat as Commissioner on the PC30 plan change for the expansion of Beachlands. Both are sophisticated, skilled and in positions of influence.Â Read more »