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

 

C&R's Secret Commercialisation Agenda

Media Release City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council For Immediate Release Monday 22 December 2008

*City Vision-Labour Vehemently Opposed to C&R's Secret Commercialisation Agenda*

City Vision and Labour Auckland City Councillors are shocked, appalled and vehemently opposed to revelations in today's New Zealand Herald that Deputy-Mayor David Hay and Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R)Councillors have been secretly pushing the commercialisation of key Council community facilities beyond what Council officers wanted to recommend. One example was the secret memorandum from General Manager Jill McPherson on July 23rd which reveals that Deputy-Mayor David Hay was pushing behind the scenes for commercial non-elected boards of businessmen to run the zoo, the art gallery, city libraries and The Edge facilities.

City Vision-Labour leader Councillor Richard Northey said, "I find it appalling to have it now revealed that expensive reports, kept secret even from all but C&R Councillors, had been compiled by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers and by staff in pursuit of a secret C&R political agenda to turn many prize Council community facilities over to the private sector to run.

These are community facilities that need to be affordable, accessible and democratically accountable to all Aucklanders but the secret reports reveal probable price hikes for use of the zoo, art gallery, libraries, the Edge and Council recreational facilities. A secret officer report reveals 'an increase in the cost of on-street and off-street parking, making it uneconomic for many ratepayers to park in the city' but this was not revealed to the Central Business District workshop on CBD parking held just last Thursday.

"Councillors and co-opted Board members with business experience are no better and no worse than elected Councillors with Voluntary Agency or teaching experience in running the operations of a complex City Council: what is important is that these public good elements of the City Council are run in an open, accountable and democratic way and that the needs and views of all residents are not submerged by purely financial considerations," Richard Northey concluded.

City Vision Eden-Albert Ward Councillor and Finance and Strategy Committee member Cathy Casey said, "This makes a mockery of the C&R's and John Banks' election platform of 'transparency and accountability'. How transparent is it that their real privatisation agenda was made known to only half of the councillors, the CEO and a handful of executive staff? As for accountability! How dare this new council promote a business model for libraries, the zoo, art gallery and The Edge. Each of these valued community facilities is there for the public good and offer many highly valued services to ratepayers that should never be privatised."

"This is a misguided attempt to take the politics out of politics" said Western Bays City Vision Councillor Graeme Easte. "Our electors expect us to engaged in the business of Council in consultation with them on their behalf. I believe in an informed partnership between elected members and our professional staff. Passing decisions over to businessmen is likely to lead to outcomes quite different from those the community actually wants."

City Vision Eden-Albert Ward Councillor Glenda Fryer said, "I am outraged to find out what is going on behind closed doors and being further advanced without the knowledge of the public or of many Councillors. Council already uses appointed people with commercial knowledge and skills on the Parking Board and the Property Enterprise Board bringing business skills to bear but balanced against public good criteria in both their Statement of Intent and reporting and recommending to Council's Finance and Strategy Committee. I am very much against this re-emergence from the right-wing C&R Councillors of the commercialisation followed by privatisation agenda that was followed by Governments and some Councils in the 1980s and '90s."

Labour Tamaki-Maungakiekie Ward Councillor and Zoo Board member Leila Boyle said, "David Hay and his fellow C&R Councillors' obsession with running the zoo purely as a business may come to cost Auckland City ratepayers dearly. The recently passed Regional Amenities Act specifically includes the Auckland Zoo as an Auckland Regional cultural treasure that should be funded by ratepayers across the whole region provided it has a not-for-profit governance structure. Auckland City Council is missing out on this major financial assistance while David Hay and others dither about whether to turn the zoo into a high entry fee business instead. I am shocked and appalled at these revelations."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election