Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Lobby Group Puts Pressure On Council

(Apologies for any cross-postings)

WATER PRESSURE GROUP PRESS RELEASE 5 December 2007

Water Pressure Group Media Spokesperson Penny Bright has been granted
speaking rights at Auckland City Council's Finance and Corporate
Business Committee meeting, 15th Floor Auckland Civic Building Greys
Avenue, 10am Thursday 6 December 2007, (as has fellow public watchdog, Lisa Prager.)

" Now that Metrowater will no longer be used as a CA$H COW, to
subsidise rates - Auckland City Council Officers have apparently told
councillors any reduction in charitable payments would require either
rates rises, more borrowing or lower spending," says Ms Bright.

"Where are our hard-earned rates being spent now?

Mayoral candidate Lisa Prager exposed the Auckland City Council spending of
$93 million on consultants - $30 million on temps in the last three
years - but information confirming how many $millions are being wasted
on all the private snouts gorging themselves at the public trough
through the contracting out of Council services, was denied.

Why won't Council Officers tell the public?
It's OUR money! It's OUR business! We have a right to know."

It is alleged that,

"Reducing charitable payments altogether would lead to a rates
increase of 10.3% over and above other planned rate increases in
the next eight years.

Water bills would go up by 56% in that time to cover other rises in
Metrowater's costs, compared with 87% under the current policy."

"Based on WHAT?
Where are the facts and evidence to substantiate the accuracy of these
figures?
Who is providing them - who is checking them?

Where exactly is the public money being spent by Metrowater actually going?

Where exactly has the money which has been received by Metrowater
since 1997 actually gone?

Why would Council want to look at extending Metrowater's scope of work
to cover stormwater, when there has not yet been a full inquiry into
Metrowater's charging and practices for the provision of water and
wastewater services since 1997?

How can the public have confidence in the integrity of the Office of
the Auditor-General (OAG) to check either Metrowater or Auckland City
Council's books? "

It was the Local Government and Environment Select Committee in their
20 September 2007 Report, who slammed the planned $324 million
Metrowater 'charitable payments' to subsidise rates, after the OAG had
effectively 'rubberstamped' them.

It was not the OAG who uncovered or exposed the spending of $93
million on consultants, and $30 million on temps in the last three
years by Auckland City Council.

"It appears that the only effective public watchdogs are concerned
citizens who are prepared to 'blow the whistle till our eyeballs bleed.'

The powers of 'general competence' given to Councils under the Local
Government Act 2002, appear to have been replaced with general
blinding incompetence.

Some senior Council staff appear to run Auckland City as if it were
their own private corporation, denying the public our statutory right
to 'open, transparent and democratically accountable' local
government.

Enough!

It is time for a full inquiry into Metrowater's charging and practices.
It is time for Auckland City Council to open the books, and a
genuinely independent financial audit to investigate EXACTLY where our
hard-earned rates monies are going." Ms Bright concluded.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels