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Auck City Council Should Front Up To Parliament

Auckland City Council Should Front Up To Parliament

ACT MP Owen Jennings says the Auditor General has vindicated his allegations of “shocking mismanagement by “the Auckland City Council, and the council should front up and tell people what it has done to fix a “staggering level of irresponsibility.”

In Parliament, back in February, Mr Jennings, ACT’s Local Government spokesman, outlined a list of allegations about the council’s dealings with ratepayers in the Hauraki Gulf and called for an investigation by the Auditor General.

The report was released today. “Given the typically moderate language of the Auditor General, this is a damming report,” Mr Jennings said.

Mr Jennings alleged “arrogant gross mismanagement” by some senior council staff and also reported to the House, allegations of staff demanding sexual favours from women ratepayers in return for resort consent approvals.

Mr Jennings said that Hauraki Gulf residents would want reassuring that the council was treating the issue seriously, as some staff who had responsibilities in the Auckland City Environments Division had been promoted and even appointed to senior positions with other local authorities.

“I am pleased for the residents of Waiheke and Great Barrier Islands who have been on the receiving end of shocking council abuse. Many people who have made submissions will be relieved the Auditor General’s report agrees that the Auckland City Council failed them badly,” Mr Jennings said.

“It is not for the Auditor General to put things right – that is for the council, which must take ownership of the problems,” Mr Jennings said.

He said Auckland Mayor Christine Fletcher and her chief executive should appear before Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Select Committee and reassure people that the “whole sad episode” had been fully addressed.

“I am staggered that councillors and senior staff at Auckland City knew of some of the allegations for some time and did nothing about them. They have been caught red-handed.

“Ratepayers, and indeed Parliament, should be reassured that the council now has a process of accountability in place to ensure that such a thing never happens again,” Mr Jennings said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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