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Ports bill opens door to public scrutiny

Darien Fenton
Labour List MP

16 August 2012

Ports bill opens door to public scrutiny

Labour MP Darien Fenton says her member’s bill, drawn from the ballot today, will see ratepayer-owned ports subject to the Official Information Act.

“The Local Government (Council Controlled Organisations) Amendment Bill offers a simple measure to ensure all public-owned entities are held equally accountable.

“Ratepayers have the right to information surrounding the management and functioning of public assets.

“Currently ports are specifically excluded from public information requests under the Local Government Act – a situation that means the ratepayers who own port companies and those who use them have no right to request information about how they are run.”

She said the long-running dispute at the Ports of Auckland highlighted the need for her bill.

“There are legitimate concerns about the actions of the Ports of Auckland board and management that have arisen during the dispute and we need to ensure that these publicly-owned businesses are open to the same scrutiny every other public institution faces.

“My hope is that the bill will contribute to a fairer outcome for ratepayers and the workers who keep our ports – which have hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars tied up in them - operating,” said Darien Fenton.

ENDS

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