It was therefore very refreshing and brave of the Chair of one of these token panels, the Auckland Council Ethnic People’s Advisory Panel, Feroz Ali, to resign last week saying he has serious concerns about how Auckland Council is being run. When even the recipient of some of the Mayor's largesse throws his hands in the air with disgust you know that something is very rotten in the state of Auckland.
Whaleoil reports Mr Ali as saying:
“As chair, I found that the panel is only their (sic) for token consultation and frankly a waste of ratepayers money,” he said in an email to panel members after tendering his resignation on Wednesday.
Mr Ali went to say he has “Serious concerns about the governance in Auckland Council.” He said that he had attended five meetings since being appointed, but felt uneasy about being paid $500 for each meeting he chaired.
The Taxpayers’ Union had this to say in a press release.
Responding to this afternoon’s resignation of the Chair of the Auckland Council’s Ethnic People’s Advisory Panel, Feroz Ali, and his damming comments that the Panel ‘lacks legitimacy’ and is a ‘waste of money’, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:
“Mr Ali’s acknowledgement that these special committees are a waste of money is significant. Councillors and local board members are elected to represent their communities. The duplication of representation, where political favourites are picked, paid and wheeled-out for photo opportunities, should stop.”
The Taxpayers’ Union is again calling on Auckland Council to disband the youth, ethnic, Pacific, seniors and rural advisory panels.
“With the exception of the disability panel, which plays an important role in highlighting the practical needs of many access-impaired members of the public, the value of these hang-on committees is questionable,” says Mr Williams.
“Rather than ramming identity politics down ratepayers’ throats, Auckland Council should focus on keeping costs down. We commend Mr Ali for his refreshing honesty.”
Auckland and its profligate Mayor and Council are providing the Taxpayers' Union, Whaleoil, Leyton Smith, Mike Hosking and others with plenty of ammunition to fire back on behalf of hard pressed ratepayers.
It's time for Auckland ratepayers to stand up for themselves and demand financial accountability for every dollar spent on their behalf.