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C&R Set Bad Precedent for Supercity CCOs

C&R Set Bad Precedent for Supercity CCOs

On Wednesday, Auckland City Council’s Finance and Strategy Committee considered the half-yearly reports of three important Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs): Metrowater; the Parking Board; and the Property Enterprise Board. The Chairs and CEOs of these boards turned up to answer councillors’ questions and listen to their concerns. However, the Committee Chair, Councillor Doug Armstrong, with the support of his Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) colleagues frequently intervened to try to prevent councillors raising any issues or asking any questions of these CCOs apart from limited financial and high level strategic issues.

Councillor Richard Northey said, “The behaviour of C&R Councillors today sets a very bad precedent for the opportunity for the new Supercity Auckland Council to exercise any real oversight over the CCOs being set up by Rodney Hide and Steven Joyce. All of the proposed seven huge CCOs, which will spend the bulk of ratepayers’ funds, have wide-ranging social, cultural and environment roles but the single committee being established for all of them must ask probing questions on issues other than finance and high level strategy.”

Councillor Cathy Casey said, “What people care about is that water is affordable and our harbours are clean enough to swim in and this is what the new Watercare CCO must deliver to the people of Auckland. It is the duty of the new Supercity Councillors to ensure that Watercare’s debt recovery process is fair and that water restriction is not used as a means of debt collection. We don’t want our new water company to have charges of corporate bullying laid against it.”

Councillor Glenda Fryer said, “The Property Enterprise Board, which is to be amalgamated into the Property Holdings CCO, will have a huge impact on the development and quality of life in all our suburban and town centre communities. Surely councillors need to interface directly in what is happening in Tamaki, Avondale and Mt Albert if the opportunities for high quality urban design for residential intensification are to come about? Selling important community land assets without elected representative oversight on individual parcels of land will surprise and outrage local communities.”

Councillor Leila Boyle said, “Throughout this term of Council, I have found C&R’s behaviour regarding CCOs absolutely disgraceful. They are clearly not willing to think carefully about what our CCOs are doing and how they are doing it. They completely abdicate their responsibility as governors by not asking the hard questions about how Auckland City Council’s CCOs carry out their business and what they are doing.

“We should all be very worried if C&R take power of the Supercity and end up rubberstamping rather than practicing due diligence in their governance role of oversight and supervision of CCO activities.”


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