Posts Tagged ‘ Auckland Regional Council ’

ARC David Beckham Fiasco

money-down-toiletIt seems a bit odd that this story just seems to be gaining traction now, well at least in the MSM. I posted about the waste of ratepayers money in December!

In the latest article from the NZ Herald I notice that the cost is huge, $2.9 million.

This one event (although there are plenty more) shows exactly why there should be some kind of legislation preventing local body politicians from getting involved in any sort of business type exercise. They should prevented by law from doing anything other than a range of services directly related to the immediate needs of local communities – water, roads, footpaths, building consents, public spaces etc – and in most situations all they should be involved in is overseeing contracts to ensure they meet a simple set of demand based criteria.

Three other aspects of this really piss me off;

Firstly Peter Winder, the ARC’s CEO, has tried to cover the whole thing up and refuses to release financial information on the basis that it is “commercially sensitive” and subject to contract. The only way the information got released was under the OIA which means the ARC must have resisted releasing the information. This is unacceptable from a publicly financed body responsible to ratepayers.

Secondly, it appears the ‘review’ of the fiasco was carried out by Mr Winder. WTF, so how’s that independent? Unsurprisingly Mr Winders review didn’t seem to find anyone in the ARC responsible for pissing away almost $2 million of ratepayers money, it all seemed to be down to outside factors, in fact, you almost get the impression Mr Winder is blaming us the ratepayers for not attending their event.

Thirdly, and this really shows just what a complete twat Mr Winder is, he claims that…

“losses on the event would not fall on ratepayers”

I have no idea how he figures this one out. We as taxpayers finance the ARC’s operations, they make a loss, it’s our money, so we will bear the loss. The ARC have a $1.79 million hole in their finances so unless Mr Winder is going to require all staff responsible to take a pay cut to finance the loss, they are going to fill that hole with rates money.

Like the rubbish with DHB’s and The Corrections Department, we are now hopefully in an era where people take responsibilities for their actions. 

Mr Winder is responsible for using our money wisely. Ratepayers have infinitely more pressing needs that seeing David Beckham kicking a football around, Mr Winder should know this.

Mr Winder appears to be incompetent, irresponsible and arrogant and should resign immediately.


The Awesome ARC… not!

Gosh aren’t the ARC fantastic, we get such good value for money from them (as they always point out).

Last time I blogged about them it was because they were shiftily bypassing the democratic process to impose a regional petrol tax on us all. Remember this was the tax they needed because they were short of funds to spend on roads and public transport.

Despite requiring the petrol tax they managed to find enough money to bring David Beckam out here and then piss that money up against the wall. Great one Mike, the best defense they could offer was “community engagement, giving Aucklanders a world-class opportunity, relationships with the Fifa football body, the development of football and Auckland being a major events destination”

WTF, so now this is ARC’s job, to help make Auckland a “major events destination”, not content with roads and parks, and being a complete pain is the ass with the RMA, the ARC has given it’s self yet more things to spend our rates money on.

These are the guy’s who are pitching themselves to be the operators of the possible ‘Super Auckland’ council… oh dear.

What we need is something passed into law preventing any Local council engaging in any activity other than roads, sewage, water, parks and town planning. Anything else they get involved is is invariable a complete screw up and a waste of time and money.

ARC ‘Outraged’ at AA

The Auckland Regional Council is accusing the AA of trying to “sabotage” its grand plans for a public rail network.

It appears the AA was merely pointing out that they felt the ARC was not consulting the public on it’s plans to introduce a regional fuel tax (as if we weren’t already paying enough tax on petrol) to finance it’s flash new electric railway set.

Mr Lee has learnt a bit from Winston Peters and has affected a somewhat contrived sense of outrage as it appears the timing of the AA’s questions don’t suit the ARC’s master plan for the ‘grateful’ citizens of Auckland.

I have to say my experience of City Councils is that they aren’t too good on consulting, especially when they know that a reasonable size of the population isn’t going to support some project. The ARC is especially good at not consulting, because they fly under the radar as a regional council and they only make up a little part of your rates bill, most people would be blissfully unaware of what they get up too.

A more cynical person might say that this was exactly why regional councils were given the power to levy a fuel tax. City councils would have known this was a poisoned chalice, and were quite happy for the more obscure regional councils to take the hit.

I’ve said before that events like the Rugby World Cup will be used as a pretext to drop consultation because of “time constraints”, and so it appears this is the argument the ARC is using for not bothering with the opinions of citizens that fund its activities.

My opinion is that the Government is already taking about 50% of the cost of fuel in taxes and if they feel that it is important to put public transport in place and the ARC are the ones to do it, then they can give them some of the cash they already collect in tax. Fuel taxes are multilayered – there’s GST on tax, and now we’re getting another tax on a tax on a tax!

I suspect that if there were some real consultation on this issue and the tax debated openly that most Aucklander’s would tell the ARC and Government to shove their regional fuel tax and start financing the public transport out of the masses of tax they already pay on fuel.

Mr Lee also knows that now’s a good time to slip the tax through because elections have been held and people will have already got used to the idea by the time the next election is due.

Auckland long suffering citizens need to be aware that it won’t just be 1% either, that’s the thin end of the wedge, expect it to go up as the projects costs spiral and the legions of consultants and engineers get hold of it. 4-5% is not out of the question.

We don’t need to be paying tax on taxes, the money is there it just needs to be directed to the right projects instead be the central government frittering it away on social project unrelated to the mess occurring on the roads in Auckland.

What is it with Socialists and shiny new train sets at the moment, did Cullen and Lee both have sets when they were kids and now they are living out childhood fantasy’s with out cash?