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ATEED gives away $18,900 worth of tickets

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance can reveal that ATEED gave away 60 tickets (worth $18,900*) to Adele concerts last year.

Documents released under the LGOIMA show the Council received the tickets as part of their $100,000 sponsorship of the three concerts. 16 were given to Auckland Council and ATEED staff and guests, with another 44 given to ‘External business growth partners or key stakeholders’.

Email correspondence released shows that this included journalists from organisations like The Spinoff, TVNZ, the NZ Herald, and Bauer Media.

Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Jo Holmes says, “We thought ATEED’s hosting of businesspeople at the ASB Classic was indulgent, but this is bigger. Ratepayer-funded tickets are being used for treating: a leg up with celebrities, friendly media, and partners. Where’s the value for ratepayers in that?”

“It wouldn’t have been difficult to simply auction off these tickets, returning the profit to ratepayers.”

“Instead, we see more of the disturbing practice of schmoozing ‘stakeholders’ on the ratepayer’s dollar. When this extends to buttering up journalists who are meant to hold the Council to account, it actually has a corrosive effect on transparency and democracy.”

*Each ticket had a face value of $315 – see page 77 of the linked documents.

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