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Two Councillors Say No to CCO

18TH October 2006
Press Statement

Two Councillors Say No to CCO

Otara’s Manukau City Councillor, Su’a William Sio, is one of two councillors who voted against the proposed establishment of a Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO) to deliver council’s Leisure Services at Tuesday’s Strategic Directions Committee. Chair of the Committee, Manurewa Ward City Councillor Colleen Brown added her vote against the proposal put forward by council officers.

Voting only took place after a long period of probing questions initiated by Councillor Sio. Council will make its final decision on CCO for Leisure Services at its full council meeting on Thursday, 26th October at 5.00pm.

“The question I keep asking is why Council is unable to deliver the benefits to our communities from our current Leisure Services structure?” says Councillor Sio. “And if there are existing problems, why are we handing these problems to a CCO board to solve when we should be doing it ourselves? Why are we unable to fix any existing problems within the current structure?”

Councillor Sio says this CCO proposal is a significant and disquieting step away from how Leisure Services, such as the city’s swimming pools, community centres and fitness gyms, are currently being delivered. And he says once a CCO is established it would be very difficult to dis-establish it “if we later find it isn’t what we wanted and there might even be pressures in the future to sell it off to the private sector.”

“The proposed CCO model will devolve our democratic responsibilities to a select few which I don’t believe is the appropriate thing to do for the kinds of services that provide a public good to our communities in Manukau.”

“And it will also add another layer of bureaucracy with associated on-going costs.”

He says it is important for councillors to get all the information from officials to enable them to make quality decisions on this matter. Sio believes that the CCO model is not appropriate for Leisure Service and nor was it the right model for Water Services.

BACKGROUNDER

Manukau City Council Leisure Services employs management and staff of some 174 full-time equivalents who currently offer a range of recreation programmes and services and skills in the delivery of leisure services including staff qualified in providing licensed childcare services.

i) Four integrated leisure activities (Moan-Nui-a-Kiwa, Otara & Lloyd Elsmore Park Leisure Centres and Manurewa Aquatic Centre, included in these 4 leisure centres are indoor swimming pools.

ii) Five Recreation & Community Centres (Papatoetoe’s Allan Brewster Recreation Centre, Clendon Community Centre, Howick Recreation Centre, Manurewa Leisure Centre, and Pakuranga Youth Centre.)

iii) Two swimming pools (Papatoetoe Centennial Pools and Totara Park Swimming Pools)

iv) Twenty-one Community Halls.

Manukau Leisure Services also manages:

i) Childcare Services at the Manurewa Community Arts Centre (Nathan Homestead) for Manukau Arts;

ii) The Te Puru Fitness Centre on a profit-sharing basis with the Te Puru Charitable Trust;

iii) Support for CLASS booking system used by other MCC Community facilities.

ENDS

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