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

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial To Be Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together tomorrow to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Dedication and Civic Memorial Service starts at 12 noon tomorrow, February 22, at the Memorial site on the Ōtākaro/Avon River, in the area bordered by the Montreal Street Bridge, Durham Street, and Cambridge and Oxford Terraces. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news