Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Wellington City Council shindig costs $51k



17 OCTOBER 2016

The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that a Wellington City Council party, held just weeks prior to the Council's elections to celebrate the signing of its new “sister city” agreement with Canberra, cost Wellington City ratepayers more than $51,000. The total cost included $14,850 spent on fashion models, ballet dancers and “contemporary performers” with $30,079.38 on “production costs” at the Public Trust Building to turn it into a party venue.

Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, Jordan Williams, says:

“While Wellington City Council blows tens of thousands on showy parties with dancers, drag-queens and DJs, ratepayers have been struck with annual rates increases of over 5% per year. Who on earth approved a two-hour shin-dig for 131 people, where the venue alone cost $30,000?”

“The Council says that sister city agreements bring economic opportunities to Wellington, but the vast majority of the guest list were those from the public sector. It seems it was more about a lavish farewell party for the Mayor, rather than anything to do with promoting Wellington to Canberra.”

“If the Council genuinely wanted to promote economic growth in Wellington, it would learn to tighten its belt and cut out glitzy junkets like these. It defies belief that Councilors were not aware of the staggering costs of this party before it was held. They refused to answer our questions about who precisely was responsible for this Hollywood-style party on the ratepayer.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

If you weren’t invited to the Sister City party, but paid for it, you can watch a highlight video of the evening at


The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is an independent and membership-driven activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power.

The Taxpayers' Union operates a 24-hour media line for comment on taxpayer issues. Representatives are available on (04) 282 0302.

The Taxpayers' Union is a member of World Taxpayers Associations - the global network of taxpayers groups working together for lower taxes, limited and accountable government, and taxpayer rights all over the world.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos

Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.