Waste

Is anyone in control at Auckland Council?

As more and more time goes by ratepayers find out just how bad our council is and how profligate they are with ratepayers cash.

The cost of cladding repairs at Auckland Council’s Albert St headquarters has blown out from $4 million to an estimated $31m, according to a confidential report.

The huge bill for essential repairs to heavy granite slabs on the 31-storey building will be discussed by councillors behind closed doors on Tuesday.

Ratepayers have already paid $128.5m to buy and fit out the 25-year-old building, described as robust and structurally sound with good bones when it was bought in 2012.

About $4m was set aside for stonework issues picked up during due diligence. A report by the engineering firm GHD in November found there was no definitive evidence of imminent collapse, but clearly cause for concern and a high potential risk of a stone panel falling from height.   Read more »

Hmmm, let me think…how does NO sound?

Kiwirail is already heavily taxpayer subsidised, and they still can’t attract customers.

The state transport company KiwiRail has made an impassioned plea for support from the government and public.

They told reporters at the unveiling of their annual report that without their company, New Zealand’s roads would be hopelessly clogged with large trucks – which would be politically unacceptable.

Their comments came as the annual report gave details of an earlier unveiled bottom line loss of almost $167 million.

It made up the difference with government money. But in the year to June, KiwiRail still made an operational profit on day-to-day operations of $91m.

The loss came from the cost of maintaining the company’s 4,000 kilometres of track, 1500 bridges and 150 tunnels.

Last year the government paid Kiwirail $198m.    Read more »

Tagged:

Big Gerry and his Big Ticket Body Armour

Gerry Brownlee and his custom tailored ballistic vest that cost three times the standard vest worn by Kiwi troops

Gerry Brownlee and his custom tailored ballistic vest that cost three times the standard vest worn by Kiwi troops

KEEPING DEFENCE Minister Gerry Brownlee safe from enemy fire has come at a weighty cost to the taxpayer.

A day after Whaleoil confirmed Brownlee had been caught out telling a big fat lie over a cancelled trip to the Papakura Army military base, we can now reveal the custom-made body armour the Minister wore during a secret 48-hour visit to Taji, near Baghdad cost three times more than standard issue armour.

The custom body armour was made with input from specialist tailors who spent some considerable time with Brownlee measuring him up for the custom vest in his office.

Brownlee’s coy about his weight, but it’s likely he tips the scales at well over 150 kilograms.

A New Zealand Defence Force spokesman confirmed in a response to questions under the Official Information Act the body armour the Minister wore during his June visit to Taji was not the standard sizing available to New Zealand Defence Force personnel.

The spokesman wouldn’t confirm the cost of Brownlee’s body armour due to commercial concerns, but said it was three times more expensive than body armour outlets supplied to usual personnel.

However, it was made adjustable and would be made available for use by others who required non-standard sizing.   Read more »

More of Steve Joyce’s excesses under the gun – explaining is losing

$600,000 for a web site?

Steven Joyce is justifying the cost of his ministry’s new website.

The senior cabinet minister says it would have cost a lot more to upgrade and maintain the four websites it has replaced.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s new website went live yesterday, and the first media release revealed it cost $599,872 to create it.

Just two months ago MBIE was under fire for putting up a sign outside its new premises that cost $67,000 and spending $140,000 on a curved information screen in the reception area.

The Labour Party and spending watchdog the Taxpayers’ Union have zeroed in on the cost of the new website as more evidence of extravagance.

Mr Joyce has justified the cost in a statement to NZ Newswire.   Read more »

Tagged:

A million dollars for a website? Christchurch City Council have got to be nuts

ccc

The Taxpayers’ Union has revealed that the Christchurch City Council has spent more than a million dollars of ratepayers’ money on a flash new website.

The Taxpayers’ Union is labelling Christchurch City Council’s spending of $1.2 million on their new website as irresponsible. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Rather than spending ratepayers’ money on the rebuild effort, Christchurch City Council have splashed out $1.2 million on a website.”    Read more »

Apparently wasting taxpayer money is less important now that the media attention has died down

The Taxpayers’ Union has been jilted by Steve Joyce’s MBIE now that the fuss has died down.

The head of the government department that spent $140,474 on a TV screen, $67,339 on a sign and $5,480 on an arts consultant for its new Wellington offices, has retracted an offer made to the Taxpayers’ Union to meet about the Ministry’s spending. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“After we expressed public concerns last week about the Ministry’s spending, MBIE officials told us that the CEO, David Smol, would be willing to meet and discuss the wasteful spending within the Ministry. Now the media heat has died down, they refuse to talk.”

“We wanted to have a serious meeting away from the media to constructively engage on how the Ministry is spending taxpayers’ money. Instead of keeping their word, the Ministry is once again running from accountability.” Read more »

Here piggy, piggy, piggy – MBIE wins waste award from Taxpayers’ Union

unnamed-6

The Taxpayers’ Union have awarded MBIE one of their Government Waste Certificate of Achievement awards for their $140k tv screen.

Porky, the Taxpayers’ Union government waste mascot, this morning visited the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to award a Government Waste Certificate of Achievement to David Smol, the Ministry’s Chief Executive, for the Ministry’s extraordinary lavish office fit out. After some waiting, Mr Smol failed to front, but an MBIE official accepted the award on his behalf.   Read more »

New Zealand’s Silliest Local Government Spending Competition, Ctd

lianne_dalziel_photo_supplied__4f26701e11

The people of Christchurch have been nominating all sorts of silly spending by their council and Mayor Lianne “Patsy” Dalziel. In the midst of a massive budget shortfall, in the vicinity of $1.2 billion dollars, the Christchurch City Council is making some very silly decisions.

Solar Powered Dunnies at $125,000 a time seem a bit expensive, but they are a lot cheaper than the exceptionally useless piece of art that you can’t even take a dump in.

ElZorrodePlata commented:

And yet they spend $2M on … http://www.mch.govt.nz/news-events/news/fanfare-artwork-be-installed-christchurch

It’s downright ugly and the worst thing is that in the afternoon sun, the spinny thingy’s reflect the sun, so there is quite a bit of real distraction when you are driving.

Read more »

New Zealand’s Silliest Local Government Spending, Ctd

Thanks for all the great entries coming through.

There are some breathtakingly stupid spending decisions, on an industrial scale.

Here is a great nomination from Palmerston North, that world famous cultural outpost. Grant Smith hasn’t been Mayor for long but he can still be held to account for this silly spending.

 

It would seem councils can spend ‘their’ money on what ever they like in this country.   Read more »

Rapacious Auckland Council wants to spend millions on a new council chamber

The rapacious Len Brown led Auckland Council, who just voted to pick our pockets by another 9.9% per annum wants to spend up to $10 million giving themselves comfy leather seats closer to their offices.

Auckland Council is under fire over plans to build a new chamber just half a kilometre from where the old one is.

The move comes in the same week the mayor and a majority of councillors voted for an average rates increase of 9.9% for households.

Auckland Council has just spent $157 million shifting some of its super city workers to new offices in downtown Auckland but ONE News can reveal that the spending doesn’t end there.

Documents leaked to the Auckland Ratepayer Alliance show plans for a new council chamber on site, saving councillors and staff a four minute, 445 metre walk.

Read more »