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

 


Watercare’s External Legal Bill Nearly $10,000 A Day

Media statement

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Watercare’s External Legal Bill Nearly $10,000 A Day - Up 33.7% In 12 Months

Aucklanders will be unimpressed Watercare’s external spend on lawyers has risen by nearly $1m in the last year alone, says Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer.

Mr Brewer has released official information he obtained from Watercare showing a rise in legal costs from $2,679,809 in the year to November 2011 compared with $3,584,204 in the year to November 2012, excluding any in-house legal staff costs.

“That’s an increase of 33.7% or nearly $1m in just 12 months. What’s more Watercare used 22 different legal firms in the past year, and has spent on average about $10,000 a day on legal bills alone.

"Yes Watercare is a huge business and is undergoing a massive capital works programme but these numbers are far too high for a ratepayer-owned business.

“This is yet another example of rising costs in Auckland local government. We’re seeing it too often at Auckland Council. Mayor Len Brown needs to gain greater control of these council-controlled organisations. At the moment they’re spending up a storm, with little political and public accountability.

“It is an outrage it takes a councillor to lodge an request under the Local Government Official Information And Meetings Act to force this out into the daylight but the public needs to know. We’ve got council elections this year and rising costs will be a big part of the debate,” says Mr Brewer.

This revelation comes at a time when public submissions are open on Watercare’s proposals for its non-domestic wastewater tariff structure, with submissions closing next Friday on 18 January.

“Businesses need to make sure they have their say on these new wastewater pricing proposals.

“Alarmingly, the biggest losers look set to be many of the same businesses whose property rates have just gone up the most – that is small businesses such as retailers who are light water users in the old Auckland City Council area. They are ones who will soon be paying more for wastewater and they won’t be impressed to read about Watercare’s latest legal bill blow-out.

“Watercare is statutorily not allowed to make a profit and recovers its costs through its charges to residents and businesses. Here is an example of its costs getting too high, costs that will sadly be passed directly onto the water users of Auckland. For the sake of people’s future water bills, these costs now need to be contained.

“Watercare’s own vision is about 'ensuring costs are well managed'. A rise in external legal costs of over 33% in 12 months is sadly a broken promise to all the people of Auckland who own Watercare,” said Mr Brewer.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Govt Probed Over Health & Safety
  • Questions and Answers 28-05-15
  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • Labour Party: McCully Doesn’t Deny Bribe In Saudi Sheep Scandal

    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Welfare: Closure Of Relationships Aotearoa

    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand. More>>

    ALSO:

    TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>


    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:

    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news