INVERCARGILL CITY COUNCIL’S CHRISTMAS LIGHT OMNISHAMBLES
1 NOVEMBER 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for some accountability at Invercargill City Council after it was revealed that a further $250,000 is being spent on Christmas lights to replace the lights purchased by Council staff on a $21,000 ratepayer-funded junket to China last year.
Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, Jordan Williams, says “Last year it was revealed that three staff travelled to China to supervise the selection and purchase of new Christmas lights. According to Mayor Tim Shadbolt, the whole reason the original lights needed to be replaced was because they were not compliant in New Zealand. Now we find out that despite three staff going to China to pick new ones, no one bothered to check whether the new ones were NZ-compliant, and now ratepayers are picking up the quarter of a million-dollar bill.”
“Ratepayers will be outraged that this omnishambles was kept from them during the recent Council elections. While the Mayor and his CEO swore black and blue that the staff trip to China was not a junket, how can they explain what the engineer was doing on the trip if he wasn’t checking whether the lights were New Zealand compliant? At the very least, those who took the junket trip should have some dignity and front up with answers.”
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is an independent and membership-driven activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power.