27 NOVEMBER 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale has sidestepped public accountability at her first opportunity by refusing to disclose $30,000 relocation expenses, doubling down on the City Council’s reputation as the most secretive in the country, says the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union.
Taxpayers' Union spokesperson Islay Aitchison says: "Given the Council’s recent history, ratepayers will be disappointed Ms Baxendale
"Just a couple of weeks ago, the Council was slammed by the Chief Ombudsman for manipulating reports and obscuring bad news from the public. This is clearly an organisation in desperate need of transparency from the top down. This was an opportunity missed."
"Ratepayers are funding Baxendale's salary of nearly half a million dollars per year. It’s not unreasonable to ask whether the extra $30,000 for relocating was actually used for that, or whether it’s an excuse for another cash perk."
"There may also be tax implications depending on whether the $30,000 was a reimbursement for Ms Baxendale's actual costs."
"It's hard to be optimistic about the Council's recent assurances to be now be committed to transparency when the people at the top aren't willing to practise what they preach."