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

 


Speaking Notes for Murray Bolton, Chairman

AUCKLAND RESCUE HELICOPTER TRUST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY 11 MARCH 2014


Speaking Notes for Murray Bolton, Chairman

Good morning.

As most of you are aware, I am Murray Bolton, Chairman of the Board of Auckland Regional Rescue Helicopter Trust.

The submission today on behalf of our essential helicopter rescue service is to reinstate the sum of $1,350,000 – the full amount applied for in the 2014/15 year.

We submit that in yet again slashing funding for our essential rescue service, you have acted unfairly, irrationally and unlawfully and – we suspect – under undue influence from those whose funding you have continually increased.

It is possible to consider the 2014/15 situation only in the context of the pattern over previous years.

You will have seen this graph on page three of our submission.

It shows you have continually cut the funding for our essential rescue service even as you have increased the funding for all other amenities such as the philharmonia orchestra and opera.

We submit that you have not met your statutory obligations to provide adequate, sustainable and secure funding to the essential rescue service, a specified amenity under the Act.

By failing to provide this adequate, sustainable and secure funding to our essential service, you have told the people of Auckland that the helicopter rescue service does not contribute to the well-being of the region, nor is it viewed as an essential safety net for a vibrant and attractive Auckland.

Aucklanders themselves disagree.

A December 2012 study by Phoenix Research revealed that 86 per cent of Aucklanders believe the helicopter rescue service is beneficial to Aucklanders – far surpassing any of the other specified amenities under the Act such as the orchestra or opera.

You have ignored the people of Auckland.

This table shows the levels of support for each amenity by the people of Auckland. We are the highest, with 86% public support.

In slashing our funding on the grounds that we have “demonstrated the ability to access alternative funding to support its activities”, you have slashed our funding because we are supported by Aucklanders and because our funding-raising team works so hard.

The fact Aucklanders back us and the fact our fundraising team works hard should be reasons for you to increase our funding, not cut it.

Yes, we have an arrangement with Westpac Bank. And while we are very grateful to Westpac for their generosity, as are the people of Auckland, we cannot subsist on that amount alone.

That is why we aggressively fundraise from the public. We do not expect you to use that as an excuse to continually cut the public funding we receive.

Our ability to fundraise has its limits.

Initially, Parliament introduced this legislation to prevent ad hoc, unpredictable and unsustainable funding. Parliament clearly demonstrated what they thought secure funding was.

That amount was $1,500,000 in 2009. Since that date, we have doubled the service.

Instead, you have ignored not just the people of Auckland but Parliament each time you have slashed our funding.

You have also ignored the hundreds of lives saved, and the families that can now breathe easy because their loved ones are safe.

Looking ahead, our two helicopters - built in 1988 and 1991 – are becoming more expensive to maintain, operate and keep safe. We have refurbished them over the years, but given their age, we need to replace them in order to continue to provide a safe, outstanding and essential rescue service for the people of Auckland.

In carrying out your functions, you must comply with the law. You cannot make arbitrary decisions outside the law, especially not those influenced by improper considerations.

We do not provide free helicopter joy rides for members of this Funding Board because ours is an essential service.

We wonder if that has been our mistake.

We wonder if free tickets to gala openings of the orchestra or the opera have been in play here.

How is anyone to know? After all, you have refused to release your secret register of pecuniary interests. You refuse to tell us, the media, the Mayor, or the people of Auckland just who it is that has been giving you gifts and why.

You are aware we are already involved in litigation for 2013/14. The reality is that more litigation will follow until the Board acts properly and provides us with the level of funding Parliament calculated our essential service provides.

We urge you to avoid that litigation by conducting your decision making within the law, and restoring our funding to at least $1,350,000.

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis.

The victim’s families and the victim have requested that their privacy be respected and will not be making a statement at this time.

Police have formed a picture of what has occurred yesterday and are appealing for further information and sightings .... More

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news