This is where your rates go…

A few months ago the Mayor of Manukau City Sir Barry Curtis led a trade delegation to the Cook Islands and Samoa. He took a swag of city councillors along, as well as half the Council’s overpaid staff.

Questions were asked about what benefits this would bring to the city. Behind the Mayor’s spin and rhetoric about economic development and the diversity of Manukau, the answer is actually little, if any at all.

The first benefit to be seen however is not for the city, but for the Mayor himself; today, Sir Barry was awarded honourary citizenship of the cook islands.

The biggest question here is ‘why should local authorities be spending ratepayers money sending staff and the mayor on overseas trips?’ After all, I thought it was Winston’s job to do that?!?

Local Authorities impose large rates increases year after year and expenditure like this does not help. Now Sir Barry believes Manukau City Council can help provide expertise in areas such as environmental management and economic development to assist the Cook Islands in growing its economy while preserving the quality of the natural environment.

This all comes at the cost of the ratepayers in Manukau.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.