An Auckland Councillor, Fa'anānā Efeso Collins, has written to the CEO of Auckland Council, Stephen Town, demanding to know why $15,000 of ratepayers money has been spent on wining and dining Pacific leaders at an invitation only lunch as part of its ‘public’ consultation process on Easter Trading hours. Councillor Collins has labelled the cost ‘outrageous and a huge cost to the ratepayer at about $250 per attendee, according to a report today on Radio NZ
An Auckland councillor is demanding answers over why $15,000 was spent on an invitation-only lunch to ask Pacific leaders about their views on Easter Sunday trading.
The invitation to a buffet lunch last Tuesday at the Waipuna Lodge was sent out to 58 Pacific community and church leaders.
Councillor Fa'anānā Efeso Collins said the amount spent was outrageous and a huge cost to the ratepayer, at about $250 per attendee.
"I don't think that's a good spend of money and I don't understand why it was invitation-only when this was about going into the public, consulting the community so that they had a voice.
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance has this to say
Ratepayers have had a bellyful of seeing their money wasted
Auckland Council’s $15,000 invitation only ‘Pacific lunch’ suggests the culture of waste and entitlement hasn’t changed under new Mayor, Phil Goff. The lunch, apparently for the purposes of consultation, saw ratepayers cover $250 per attendee, according to Radio NZ.
Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says, “There is no possible justification for spending on such a lavish scale to feed a few of Council’s chosen nobles. This money was meant to be spent on a public consultation process. Instead it was gobbled up at a luxurious lodge.”
“Ratepayers are sick of faceless bureaucrats showing such poor judgement about the approach to public consultation selecting groups to favour for special treatment. There needs to be be more accountability. Who made this decision, and precisely who approved the $15,000 leg up?”
If Phil Goff thinks the public will not be outraged when he piles on new taxes, tolls, and unjustified rates rises instead of cutting out the vast amount of waste that is endemic throughout the whole of Council then he needs to think again.
Council staff have recently been harassing Local Boards to provide special funding to its list of favoured groups rather than consult with the public as a whole. The bureaucracy has grown fat on using our money to employ a raft of consultants, advisors, and briefing teams on a whole range of issues. If only they would stick to the basics they would have a mountain of cash. Instead, we’ve all had a gutsfull.