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A Quarter-Million Dollar Scandal

Responding to today’s publicity that the investigation and report by EY into Len Brown’s misconduct has cost Auckland ratepayers more than $250,000, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:

How has a $75,000 report turned into a quarter-million dollar cost blow out? What went wrong in the EY investigation to cause it to take weeks longer and cost ratepayers so much more?”

“The arrogance of Mr Brown to suggest that the amount he pays back may be kept confidential is staggering. Legal advice received by the Taxpayers’ Union is clear that the public is entitled to the information.”

“Auckland Council appears to be ignoring its obligations under freedom of information laws. The Taxpayers' Union alone has seven information requests that are months overdue. What is Len Brown hiding?”

“It was solely Mr Brown’s conduct that made the EY report necessary. We understand that it was his lack of cooperation and dependence on lawyers that caused the costs to escalate. The Council should be taking all steps necessary to recover the full amount. Councillors should be explaining how it is fair that ratepayers pick up the tab."

ENDS

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Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

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Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

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NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

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Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

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NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

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Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

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