Here is the report by Tom Carnegie of Fairfax Media.
Local boards across Auckland are offering a total of $27,000, dished out in $200 grants, for neighbourhoods to throw street parties and events, including barbecues.
The funds are part of an initiative to bring neighbours together for the national Neighbours Day event on March 25 and 26.
Eight of Auckland's 21 local boards have Neighbours Day funds. Henderson-Massey allocates the most funding, with $6000 on offer to its residents.
The Albert-Eden Local Board initiated the first ever fund in 2012.
The grants have come under fire from the Auckland Ratepayers Association (he means Alliance), with spokeswoman Jo Holmes saying they are a "diabolical use of ratepayers' money".
"Of all the wastes of money that Auckland City Council is engaged in this is one of the biggest wastes of ratepayers money I have ever heard of," Holmes said.
"I think it is just appalling that other ratepayers who really can't afford it are subsidising this type of activity," she said.
"When the roads have got potholes, the park tracks don't get cut, and a host of other things are not happening, I am sure to any person with common sense would see this as a monumental waste of money," she said.
You need look no further than this to understand why local politicians are held in such low regard and your rates are so high.