Audit NZ spanks Manukau City Council

Cr Jami-Lee Ross has alerted us this morning to a recent Audit NZ report into the goings on at Manukau City council.
[quote]“What the opinion from Audit NZ tells us is that Manukau City Council has been living outside its means for a long time. We are now facing a budget short fall in the long term Plan that will adversely affect the city for the next ten years” Mr Ross says.
“A balanced budget, in simple terms, means that Council’s operating expenditure should not exceed a level that can not adequately be covered by sustainable levels of revenue. The Audit NZ review has discovered that Manukau City Council’s initial draft LTCCP shows that Council expenditure is too high to fulfil the requirements of a balanced budget.
“Our officials have suggested that the best way for Council to tackle this issue is to hike up rates up by almost 9 percent this year and 7 percent next year to fund the shortfall. However, this is not an acceptablelevel of rating.”[/quote]
Instead Cr Ross suggest the council "tighten its belt and lose all that excess baggage."
Examples provided are;
  • $4.5 million annually providing free access to swimming pools.
  • Growth Centre budget increased by 90% to $14 million when predictions show growth slowing.
  • New newletter that has already gone over budget before the first paper has even been produced.
  • Treaty of Waitangi unit $400,000 per annum.

I agree with Cr Ross it is high time local government learnt as their ratepayers have to live within their means.


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