16 August 2012
Port transparency overdue
On the week the Martime Union has written to the Auckland Council seeking for the Port to be accountable for the money squandered on its ill-conceived contracting plan, it is great news that Labours Darien Fenton has had her Bill seeking to increase transparency for our publically owned ports, pulled from the ballot today. The Bill puts Ports into the coverage of the Official Information Act and creates Good Employer obligations.
Helen Kelly, CTU President says “bringing the same transparency to our publically owned Ports as almost every other public entity will stop us from being kept in the dark about the Ports, and how they make their decisions. The Minister of Transport has previously refused to release any information to us under our Official Information requests, despite the fact there was clear public interest in the long running dispute, especially earlier in the year.”
“The ongoing dispute with the Ports of Auckland really brings focus to the anomaly that excludes the public from the right to seek information from the Ports that they own. The Ports were able to develop and progress their ‘strategy’ of seeking to sack all the wharfies and contract out their work, a failed plan that cost it millions of rate payers dollars and without any right for the public to request information from the Ports regarding how they developed that strategy.”
The Bill would also bring the Ports into line with other requirements of the Local Government Act, including that to be a good employer.
“We hope the government supports moves to bolster requirements on the Ports to act as a good employer. The Auckland Council has previously stated that they were hamstrung as to how much influence they can have over the Ports as an employer, bringing publically owned ports into the Local Government Act could have given the Council a legislative platform to have more influence over the way the Ports act in regard to their employees.”