The only man to win two nominations for NZ’s Dodgiest Local Body Politician so far, Pete Rainey, has won a third. Sources inside the Nelson Mail have been talking to the tipline, about the plan hatched to take the catering and liquor at sports venue events for the Council itself.
This means council contractors will pick up the lucrative contracts from the council, rather than the profits going to the sports organisations. And who should benefit from this the most? The people who already manage to win contracts and subsidies from the council, including Pete Rainey.
The people of Nelson already know that Rainey had to seek retrospective approval from the Auditor General for his various council contracts when he knows full well that elected members must get this approval before they actually receive council money. They know this because he squealed like a stuck pig when the Nelson Weekly broke the story.
The amounts are:
Apparently, the Nelson Mail are blocking stories about this, as Cr. Matt Lawrey is calling in favours to hold the editorial line supporting his mate Pete Rainey. This is despite anyone who has even the faintest idea about what is going on in Nelson knows that the rugby, cricket, football and basketball bosses are on the war path over Rainey’s proposal.
Rainey was slammed from the floor at the recent mayoralty debate hosted by Sports Tasman. He steadfastly refused to provide any specifics about his proposal despite being repeatedly challenged to do so. He has since gone to ground on the idea and is remaining tight-lipped despite growing concerns in the sports community about what his election pledge might mean for the Makos, Giants, Tasman United and international cricket events in the city.
Sports in provincial towns like Nelson are a vital part of the community fabric. Yet they always struggle financially, and so a mayor taking away a vitally important revenue stream is a major threat to their survival. A mayoral candidate who already makes a lot of money from council contracts deserves a piggy nose and the trougher label.
How this major news story has not been run in the Mail is beyond us. From this distance, it has all the hallmarks of a provincial newspaper suppressing adverse publicity about a favoured figure. Fortunately, there are people at the Mail with integrity who are willing to share their information.