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

 


Auckland Council travel costs over $10.5m


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Auckland Council travel costs over $10.5m with staff travelling the world

Following the revelation that the Mayor Office’s annual travel costs increased by 435% to $159,000, Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer has released Auckland Council’s full travel costs for the first two years of the Super City which total $10,570,315.

Mr Brewer says what concerns him most is not necessarily the hundreds of trips domestically and to Australia, but the fact that staff from all over the organisation have travelled the world extensively at the expense of the suburban ratepayer.

“To think we’re going into another budget round, which includes cuts to core services like the council no long mowing the grass berms in the old Auckland City area, yet in the same breath ratepayers are expected to keep coughing up for dozens of expensive overseas trips. It’s totally out of whack. This globetrotting has to stop and like everyone else the council needs to make more use of the internet. They’ve just about visited everywhere except Africa and Antarctica!

“The bureaucracy has clearly lost touch with what ratepayers’ primarily want from their council. Believe me most ratepayers’ are sick of funding other people’s lifestyles. Ratepayers want their money spent on delivering good projects not collecting postcards.”

As well as the Mayor’s trade missions with council staff and business leaders to Australia, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and the Pacific Islands, additional staff trips in the past two years, funded in part or whole by the ratepayer, have also included Brazil, Chile, India, Sir Lanka, Finland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, United States, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal as well as China, the Pacific Islands, and hundreds of domestic trips including to Queenstown and Wanaka, and to Australia including the Gold Coast, Perth, and Tasmania.

“It’s not the staff’s fault. If anyone got the opportunity to go exploring in Jakarta, Kathmandu or New Delhi, or to see the sites of Vancouver, San Francisco, Edinburgh or Rio de Janeiro, they’d probably go. But this is ratepayers’ money we’re dealing with here and this is a very bad look when so many people are hurting with job losses and the likes.”

“The Mayor will point the finger to the Chief Executive who I’m sure can argue every that trip will somehow help Auckland in the long run. However in reality spending over $10.5m on travel and hotels with much of it overseas will be completely unacceptable to many Aucklanders when the council’s got so much work to do back home.

“Ratepayers want their council to focus on fixing Auckland’s problems first and foremost, not gallivanting around the world,” says Cameron Brewer.

Mr Brewer obtained the travel costs for Auckland Council and its seven council controlled organisations (CCOs) under the Local Government Official Information Act for the first two years of the Super City’s existence. From the group spend of $10,570,315, Auckland Council spent $6,113,462; Auckland Transport $1,347,039; ATEED $1,118,930; Watercare Services $926,873; Regional Facilities Auckland $749,888; Waterfront Auckland $249,461; Auckland Council Property $15,201; and Auckland Council Investments $4,461.


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news