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More Ratepayers’ Cash for Council history book

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
15 September 2010

More Ratepayers’ Cash for Council history book

Auckland City Council today voted for yet another $15,000 to self-publish its controversial history book. This brings the total cost of producing a 21-year history of Auckland City Council to $135,000 of unbudgeted expenditure.

Councillor Richard Northey said, “Ordinary ratepayers in Otahuhu and Avondale are now going to have to stump up for this self-serving tome glorifying the outgoing Banks and Citizens & Ratepayers (C&R) Council. This $135,000 goes well beyond the amount of remuneration foregone by councillors and community board members over this Council term and is now eating into the basic living costs of struggling ratepayers across the area covered by the outgoing Auckland City Council.

Councillor Cathy Casey said, “Today this Council agreed to spend $135,000 for the printing of a vanity publication that no-one wants except John Banks and his C&R cronies. This is a complete misuse of ratepayer funds 24 days out from an election. The Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) must pull the plug on this last minute spend-up. This is exactly the type of pet project that the ATA was set up to stop.

Councillor Denise Roche said, “The working party which considered the five expressions of interest took 14 minutes to reach its recommendation. One can only assume it was a rubberstamping of Michael Basset who has been touted by C&R for some time. So much for C&R’s “transparency and accountability”.

Councillor Glenda Fryer said “To spend $135,000 on an academic treatise on Council history is nothing short of scandalous, when Council is turning down requests for assistance from worthy organisations like Citizens Advice Bureau Auckland City (CABAC) who recently asked for $25,000 to manage accumulated leave issues and was turned down. This says a lot about the priorities of this John Banks-led C&R Council.

ENDS

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