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ARC gambled with ratepayers funds - and lost.

Media release. 8th December 2008

ARC gambled with ratepayers funds - and lost.

Statement from David Thornton

Most ratepayers will be appalled that the Auckland Regional Council has funded and underwritten the David Beckham soccer game at Mt Smart Stadium last Saturday..

ARC chairman, Mike Lee, has already admitted there will be a loss - how big a loss we wait to hear - but a loss will impact on the ARC as a whole, and therefore put ratepayers at risk.

It is entirely unsupportable for the ARC to gamble with ratepayers funds by promoting a soccer game.- or any speculative commercial event.

Various ARC spokespeople have claimed that any loss would be 'ring-fenced' within the Mt Smart Business Unit.

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, on that basis, there is room for an aoccasional event to show a loss.

That may be the case in normal private-sector business operations - but this a regional council owned company, and ultimately owned by ratepayers. .

The true position is that all activites of the Mt Smart business unit are, in effect, guaranteed by its owner, the Auckland Regional Council – which is ultimately funded by ratepayers of the region.

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

The gambling must stop.


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