Auckland already has 19, yes you read that right - nineteen, ‘sister’ cities all of which are supposed to be visited every Council term. Each time the Mayor and/or a group of Councillors, along with an army of bureaucrats, makes one of these trips it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Sister city visits are not the only ratepayer funded trips for our politicians and bureaucrats: there are also endless conferences, talkfests, meetings, briefings etc mostly hosted in exotic locations around the globe, many, if not most, of dubious value to the ratepayer.
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is not impressed. It has sent out this media release.
IS MEXICO CITY JUNKET REASON FOR JOINING CLIMATE CHANGE GROUP?
On Thursday Auckland Council’s Development Committee will be debating whether to join a coalition of cities to share information on climate change. The group, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, is to gather in Mexico City next year.
Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Jo Holmes says:
"Despite Council Officers claiming that membership of the Group comes at no additional cost, it is clear that sending a group of Councillors and Council officials to Mexico City will cost tens of thousands of ratepayer dollars - money that will have already been earmarked for the development of Auckland. We need a Super City looking after Auckland, not one determined to get involved in international diplomacy."
“It’s not clear how ratepayers paying for an Auckland Mayor and his entourage to join up with a new group of cities, in addition to the existing 19 sister cities, is going to solve climate change. Any relevant information from the conference can be provided by sister cities Los Angeles and Guangzhou who are already members of the Group.”
The Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance call on Auckland’s Mayor and Councillors to focus on their core responsibilities of providing infrastructure to meet the city’s development needs and reject placing yet another cost onto already cash strapped ratepayers.
Help us stop this unnecessary waste of ratepayers' money. Sign the petition here.
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