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Beckham – ARC must not gamble ratepayers funds

Media release. 4th December 2008

Crowds or not to see Beckham – ARC must not gamble with ratepayers funds.

Statement from David Thornton

As a life-long Manchester United supporter I thinks its great that David Beckham is playing in Auckland on Saturday.

But as a long-suffereing ratepayer I am appalled that the Auckland Regional Council is funding and underwriting this event.

Even if the crowds do turn upon Saturday to watch David Beckham play at Mt Smart Stadium, it is entirely unsupportable for the ARC to gamble with ratepayers funds by promoting a soccer game.- or any speculative commercial event.

The ARC says that because Mt Smart operates as a stand-alone ‘Business Unit’ the financial reults need to be viewed over a full financial year – and it is probable that, on basis, there is room for an aoccasional event to show a loss.

That is not the issue – the issue is that all activites of the business unit are, in effect, guaranteed by the its owner, the Auckland Rgional Council – which is ultimately funded by ratepayers of the region.

By promoting a commercial event, which may end in financial loss, the ARC is gambling with ratepayers money.

The gambling must stop.


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