Corruption at Auckland Transport?

Just what exactly is going on in Auckland Transport? It looks like things are getting serious just as the local body elections kick into life.

Auckland Transport has sacked a senior manager amid an investigation into allegations of corruption over roading contracts.

The council body’s chief executive, David Warburton, says the investigation has established “serious conflict of interest and performance issues” involving the official, whom it stood down on leave a month ago.

He said those came to light after an internal review of procurement and contract management procedures. 

Invoices, contracts and other documents dating back to 2010, which is when Auckland Transport was established as a council-controlled organisation, were being reviewed.

A number of staff, supplier representatives and other stakeholders had also been interviewed.

External legal and forensic accounting advice had been sought, and the Serious Fraud Office and Audit NZ were being kept abreast of developments.

There are going to be some serious questions asked of the board regarding this and specially of Len Brown’s handpicked appointees.


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  • blokeintakapuna

    Mike Williams – former Labour Party President is on the Board…
    ‘nough said…

    • Blue Tim

      It all adds up now. Is there a connection between this and the roading company receivership this week?

      • David

        The alliance between blacktop, Auckland city transport and others for Auckland roading pre-dated useless Len’s election by a couple of years.

      • OT Richter


    • le sphincter

      So is Christine Fletcher…

  • OT Richter

    More heads are going to roll. Watch this space.

  • philbest

    The corruption of transport departments and their almost inevitable support for rail based public transport systems, are something that always goes along together. It is not the least bit surprising to find corruption manifesting itself at less significant levels of decision making too.

    There is a good paper by Wenleng Chen of the World Bank, entitled something like “Selection Bias in Rail Transit Investments”. The reference list includes dozens more highly revealing papers.

    • Bad__Cat

      “The corruption of transport departments and their almost inevitable support for rail based public transport systems, …”

      You are confusing Local Body Transport Engineering staff who work in the roading industry with Long Term Planning staff who come up with the pie-in-the-sky schemes.

    • le sphincter

      Silly you . What about the private roading projects in Australia that have gone bust… due to lack of demand.

      • philbest

        The private sector had a go at building a toll road or two; I and several transportation economists I know would have told them it wouldn’t work, because they are trying to compete with alternative routes that are still free of charge.
        I will explain the problem; few people, even in the transport sector, understand this.
        The graphed relationship between “demand” and “flow”, is a backwards-bending curve. That is, a tipping point in demand is reached when traffic that was flowing at a certain rate, becomes “stop-start”. Suddenly, even though demand has increased, flow has decreased.
        It is this phenomenon that road planners are fools to allow to happen.
        But it has happened – then, bingo, an ignorant private investor builds an alternative toll road. It only needs a few percent of existing users of the congested route, to switch; and suddenly the previously-congested free route, is a free-flow route again, throughputting MORE vehicles at the crucial peak period, than what it was when traffic was “stop-start”.
        The trip destinations are on a massive winner; the businesses and property owners; the toll road investors take a haircut. I actually like this as a means of the public getting a free new road out of stupid investors.
        It is actually nonsense to say the problem is “lack of demand”; the throughput of the total system is actually massively increased.
        And the point remains that the car drivers are perfectly happily paying the cost of their car, petrol, repairs, insurance, whatever – adding up to 20 cents a km for an efficient little car; more for bigger ones. They just can’t be bothered paying more to travel on a new toll road that offers less time savings than the stupid private investors thought it would.
        The correct time to apply “pricing”, is not when capacity is added sufficient to restore faster FLOW, but when there is stop-start congestion. In the Australian examples, once demand has risen again to the point that all routes are congested, turning one lane into a “priced” express lane will achieve impressive results. Such lanes, correctly priced, throughput MORE vehicles than the adjacent free of charge lanes which remain stop-start. Therefore no-one “loses”, because no-one who is “priced out” of the express lane(s) is adding to congestion in the free ones.
        If you don’t “get it”, oh well, 99% of people, unfortunately, don’t.