Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Helicopter Trust Holds Successful Meeting with Len Brown

24 March 2014

Helicopter Trust Holds Successful Meeting with Mayor Len Brown

The Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust today met with Auckland Mayor Len Brown to discuss its funding situation.

The essential rescue service has had its public funding cut by 70% in recent years by the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, despite the board saying publicly there are no criteria against which it makes its funding decisions. Nor does the funding board operate a gifts and inducements register.

The chairman of the helicopter trust, Murray Bolton, described the meeting as “very positive”. He said the mayor was “strongly supportive” of the rescue helicopter service and that the atmospherics were “warm and friendly”.

Mr Bolton said the mayor accepted the rescue helicopter’s view that the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act 2008 created perverse incentives. Those amenities that fail to receive material public support through fundraising are given the highest ratepayer funding from the board. Those services, like the rescue helicopter, that are strongly supported by Aucklanders have their public funding cut.

The mayor also repeated his public pledge to address the rescue helicopter’s $900,000 funding gap for 2014/15 with council funds – a commitment which has led to the trust dropping its plans for further litigation against the board.

Section 42 of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act 2008 allows the essential rescue service to receive funding from both the board and the council as long as the funding is not for the same expense.

The helicopter trust has also received legal advice that it is fully compliant with section 21(1)(f) of the Act that requires any amenity wanting to receive funds from the board to first make “all reasonable endeavours to maximise its funding from other available funding sources”. The rescue service has done so through aggressive fundraising and by maintaining a naming-rights relationship with Westpac. It is not clear whether or not other amenities are compliant with section 21(1)(f).

Mr Bolton said the helicopter trust accepted the mayor’s view that it would be better for the flawed legislation and funding gap to be resolved without ongoing public hostilities in the media.

In response, the trust asked the mayor to suggest to the funding board that it desist from leaking commercial information, provided to it under an obligation of confidence, to the media. It cited a leak of the trust’s financial statements, which indicate a cash surplus.

“One of our helicopters needs to be replaced, so we have a new helicopter on layby, which we are saving up for by running cash surpluses. It’s a bit rough that they leaked that information to try to discredit our rescue service, but we’re not going to make too much of a fuss of it,” Mr Bolton said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news