Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Questions To Be Answered By Dunedin City Council

MEDIA RELEASE

Questions To Be Answered About Payments By Dunedin City Council To Former MP

24 FEBRUARY 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the internal controls at Dunedin City Council after the Union uncovered a $3,400 payment by the Council to former MP and cabinet minister Pete Hodgson, made with no documentation. Followinga media report that Mr Hodgson had been recruited by the Council for lobbying, the Taxpayers’ Union requested information about the services being provided by Mr Hodgson under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. The Council’s response has been made public today at www.taxpayers.org.nz.

According to the Council’s response, Mr Hodgson’s work consisted of “lobbying and advocating on behalf of the Council” and there is no supporting documentation.

“The Taxpayers’ Union asked the Council for the documentation relating to the payments," says union Executive Director, Jordan Williams. “They told us everything was verbal, and could not provide a single report, email, or even a letter of engagement."

"They claim that all of the contracts were negotiated verbally and there is no documentation to explain a deal between the Mayor and Mr Hodgson.” 

“We asked for copies of any work done by Mr Hodgson. All we got back were two letters by the Mayor on which Mr Hodgson apparently had input."

"It is alarming that $3,400 of ratepayer money was paid to Mr Hodgson and the Council can't even point us to an invoice. What did Mr Hodgson do? Was it just expensive proof reading? Is Mr Hodgson friends with the Mayor? If so, there is greater need for more light on this."

“Though it’s a small amount, it suggests that Dunedin City Council isn’t applying the most basic internal controls. What other government agency spends $3,400 without any documentation?”

"The Council’s response raises serious questions. Why was the Mayor negotiating this in the first place? Why verbally? Why is there absolutely no documentation for the arrangement, not even an email? No wonder this council has a history of financial troubles, they're running it like a cake stall.”

“Without an explanation from the Council, we are left wondering whether the Auditor-General should get involved," concludes Mr Williams.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Legal Fudging Of The GCSB Revelations

As many have noted, the Hager/Snowden revelations of the spying by our security agencies on our Pacific neighbours and allies is a virtual re-run of the pre-election debate.

Unfortunately, it is also a forerunner of the kind of “ debate” we can expect during the upcoming review of the security agency powers, in June. It is a situation where the government (a) stonewalls, (b) baldly asserts that mass surveillance is not occurring despite the Snowden evidence that it is, and (c) claims that the GCSB actions were lawful.

Yet as Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman says, this can be true only if the legislation passed last year by the Key government has made the mass surveillance of New Zealanders – and the related handing over of their private data to the NSA – lawful. More>>

Latest:

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Women's Day, March 8: It’s Time For Men To Step Up For Gender Equality

UN Women is launching the HeForShe campaign in New Zealand at the International Women's Day Parliamentary Breakfast, and is calling on New Zealand men — including politicians and community and sports leaders — to show their commitment to gender equality by signing up to this global campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system... More>>

ALSO:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news