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Let Aucklanders know the truth about their Port

14 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Let Aucklanders know the truth about their Port

The ratepayers of Auckland deserve to know what’s going on with the assets they own, and it’s not good enough for Auckland Council Investments Limited (AICL) to refuse to provide information about the Ports of Auckland, says Darien Fenton.

“Auckland Councillors asked reasonable questions yesterday about the costs of the Ports industrial dispute, including the widespread use of public relations, consultants and legal costs, but could get no answers.

“The ratepayers of have a right to know what’s going on at their port. AICL is treating the democratically elected council with contempt.

“My members’ bill the Local Government (Council Controlled Organisation) Amendment Bill is due to have its first reading next week and would open publicly owned ports up to the Official Information Act.

“While the ACIL Statement of Intent specifically makes it clear they are “accountable for the prudent governance and management” of the investments they hold on behalf of the Auckland Council, there is no ability for the public who actually own the Port to test that accountability.

“Every Port in New Zealand is either fully or partially publicly owned, but a gap in the current legislation excludes Ports from being accountable under the Official Information Act. That means valid questions about the performance of Ports Boards do not have to be answered.

“Next Wednesday, Parliament will have an opportunity to remedy that situation, so that when reasonable questions of accountability are asked about publicly owned ports, answers will have to be given,” says Darien Fenton.

ends

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