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ATEED must be brought under control

ATEED must be brought under control

Ratepayer funds being blown on junkets.

Auckland Councils economic development and tourism activity [ATEED] is out of control and out of reach of any level of accountability to Auckland ratepayers,

The recent reports of huge spending in San Francisco for the Americas Cup by an 18-person team of ATEED staff and its consultants, performers – plus a $57,000 trip for two, including business class flights, to Dubai and a Monaco Boat Show, reveal a spending culture that is out of control.

What did each of these people actually do, and what did they achieve which has brought direct benefit to ratepayers who met the cost?

ATTED’s job is to promote economic development, exports, tourism and major events – all activities which are essentially promoted by central government through various Ministries and funded largely from taxes.

Residential ratepayers are being screwed into paying, largely from after-tax income, for this additional expenditure by Auckland Council, and receiving no apparent direct benefit.

Established as a Council Controlled Organisation in Rodney Hides SuperCity legislation, ATEED is set to receive $45 million of ratepayer funds in the current year, and, according to the Council’s Long-term plan, will receive increased amounts up to $74 million by 2022.

The organisation has its own Board of Directors and operates totally independent of Council control except for an annual agreement on key performance indicators.

Elected Councillors have, in the past, been refused key financial information on which proposed ATEED event expenditure decisions were based.

Ratepayers have been expressed disgust at this level of ‘junketing’ which appears to be ATEED’s standard method of conducting its business.

ATEED must be closed down as a separate stand-alone company and be brought under direct Council where elected Councillors can demand accountability, control expenditure, and themselves be directly accountable to their ratepayers.


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