26 Aug 2010

Former French Polynesia President's costly Auckland hostel passes in at auction

10:44 am on 26 August 2010

The company managing the sale of an historic Auckland house bought by French Polynesia under the presidency of Oscar Temaru says it's been passed in at auction.

Tim Lichtenstein of Colliers International says the highest bid for Rocklands Hostel was almost three million US dollars.

Five years ago Oscar Temaru's administration paid five and a half million for the lodge, which was intended to house relatives of people receiving medical treatment as well as government agencies but became a student hostel.

The publisher of Tahiti Pacifique monthly, Alex du Prel, says one problem with the more than 100-year-old building was its age.

"It's a historical monument, you have to rebuild it you know to very strict. Then there was the other problem French Polynesia was the owner you know and it was being operated as a hostel, a youth hostel. But French Polynesia under French law as a state cannot operate a private company."

Alex du Prel says those who advised Mr Temaru on the purchase inflated the price so they could make on the deal.