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Appealing AECT judgement not in best interests

NEWS RELEASE

January 16, 2001 Embargoed till 5pm, Tuesday 16 Jan 2001

Appealing AECT judgement not in Aucklanders’ best interests, says Mayor


Mayor Chris Fletcher is firmly opposed to yesterday’s decision to lodge an appeal to the High Court judgement on AECT/Vector Limited.

The council’s Investments Committee voted 4 – 3 at a special meeting yesterday to lodge an appeal on the December court decision, which found against the legal challenge brought by Auckland City, Manukau City and Papakura District Council.

Mrs Fletcher says the committee’s decision is wrong, and not in Aucklanders’ best interests.

This time, Auckland City would be “going it alone” without the support of other local authorities, she said.

“I inherited this issue upon becoming mayor and while I have had some reservations about the challenge, because of the important issues and principles involved I thought the court’s determination would be valuable. The court did not determine in our favour and we should accept that and move on, not show ourselves to be bad losers.”

The appeal will be costly – with further expenses over an above the $2.5 million already spent on the challenge - and has the capacity to further delay the dividend payout to Vector consumers, she said.

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“It is indefensible to be spending more of our ratepayers’ money in pursuing this. We lost the case and should leave it at that.”

It was time now to pick up on the overtures of the newly elected AEC Trust and to work together towards resolving the issues, she said.

“It is also time to encourage central government to urgently review the governance structures of the Trust, which have been at the heart of the problem all the way through.”

Yesterday’s decision by the Investments Committee was to proceed with lodging the appeal – today being the last day for this option – and to seek the confirmation of the full council at its February 8 meeting.

For more information please contact:
Alison Bremner, Mayoral Communications telephone 3736818/025 772029.


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