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C&R Councillors Don't Learn from Beckham Balls Up

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Tuesday 16 December 2008

C&R Councillors Fail to Learn from Beckham Balls Up

Media have uncovered the fact that Auckland City Council contributed $115,000 to aspects of the recent David Beckham-LA Galaxy event held at Mt Smart Stadium.

This decision was made by only three Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) councillors who met in secret as the Events Sub-Committee.

The greatly increased financial delegation of up to $150,000 per event to this small partisan committee was originally made late last year against the specific objections and amendments of City Vision and Labour councillors. At Thursday's Auckland City Council meeting, City Vision-Labour again attempted to reverse this sorry state of affairs by moving to cut back the financial delegation per event to $100,000 which would have meant that the Beckham event grant could only have been made by the full bipartisan seven-member Arts, Culture and Recreation committee.

The Council also reviewed the structure and membership of committees on Thursday. City Vision-Labour Councillors moved to add Labour Councillor Richard Northey to the Events Sub-committee to ensure a wider range of viewpoints are taken into account when deciding this sub-committee's event grants.

Both amendments were defeated on party line votes with all C&R Councillors rejecting them.

Councillor Richard Northey, City Vision-Labour leader, said "I find these decisions not to learn from the Beckham event experience very short-sighted, partisan and risky for the reputation and wise use of scarce funds of the Auckland City Council. To reject this immediate opportunity to ensure consideration of a wider range of views and knowledge in making important decisions about Council grants to events was very unwise in these straitened economic times."

ENDS

Full Council minutes and amendments can be found here:

http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/members/councilmeetings/m200812111800.asp

The relevant items are 9i: Delegations Register and 10: Remuneration Working Party Report.

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