I have searched the agenda and minutes of the Waiheke Local Board concerning this event and found some disturbing gaps in due process.
- The $5000 came from the Small Local Improvement Projects (SLIPs) budget. The fund is meant to provide for improvements that benefit the whole community such as footpaths, or wetland restoration. A party for a select few does not meet SLIPs criteria.
- When SLIPs budgets are approved they should be accompanied by full costings so the community has transparency and accountability over how their hard earned money is being spent. No such report appeared on the Board agenda where this expenditure was approved.
- What did appear on the Board agenda to justify the $5000 dollars was the following: “This funding would cover such operational costs (catering, transport, resource costs) for regular youth board meetings; training and development opportunities for members and the wider youth community." ....."this funding would allow for this planning to be completed more fully with budgets for projects allocated by the members."
- Just to demonstrate how slipshod Council Officers have become in preparing local board agendas I note that this money was supposed to be coming out of Albert-Eden Local Board’s budget. “9. Funding for the proposed projects within this report will come from the Albert Eden Local Board’s SLIPs budget”. Duh! What dimwit allowed this through? What dimwits on the Waiheke Local Board didn’t even pick it up. Do the Board members read their agendas? (Rhetorical question).
- It seems most of the equipment for the event (BBQs etc) was donated by local businesses so one has to wonder how the rest of the money has been spent. We’ll never know of course because no accountability has been attached to the expenditure. Becs Ballard has oversight of the project but I doubt poor Becs knows anything either - although her children can probably tell her.
So Waiheke Youth Voice decided, in their wisdom, to use the money to throw a party for themselves and their mates. How that falls into the category of ‘regular youth board meetings; training and development opportunites for members and the wider youth community I do not know. Nor do I suspect do the ratepayers of Waiheke who are having their money squandered in this outrageous way.
Given the composition of Waiheke Youth Voice, it is not surprising that this is the outcome of their collective wisdom. They will no doubt be being mentored by their politician parents on how to waste taxpayers and ratepayers money. There could be no better teachers on that subject than Denise Roche and Paul Walden.
What they have taught their children seems to be that taxpayers and ratepayers are a bottomless source of money that can be tapped for every penny to pay for politicians entertainment and enjoyment. Just like the $15,000 junket for the Waiheke Local Board and their mates when they first took office.
And these same politicians want control of our rates to run a Waiheke District Council? Only in our wildest nightmares.