Auckland Council should not be in charge of public money

An Auckland mayoral candidate’s calling for the council to be held to account over a report of a multi-million-dollar building blowout.

The New Zealand Herald says repairs to the council’s new Albert St headquarters could now cost around $31 million – a huge leap from the original projection of $4 million.

Victoria Crone says it’s unacceptable to dump ratepayers with such a large increase.

“The council have to take accountability for this, they have purchased the building. As part of purchasing the building absolutely you have to do due diligence to make sure you know what you’re buying, and it looks like that process hasn’t been done properly.”

Auckland mayoral candidate Mark Thomas says the council doesn’t help itself “when it tries to bury these debates in private”, and calls for the meeting to be made public.

“There is no reason why a discussion on why this has happened and what the next steps are can’t be had in public, and that’s what I have asked for.

“The public has a right to know what other options are being considered before ratepayers fork out 25 percent more again than the original purchase price.”

Mr Thomas says council officers should be considering how robust the advice about the state of the building is, a range of repair options and contribution council can seek from the previous owner of the building.

Councillors will discuss the building repairs at a closed meeting on Tuesday.

We’re not talking about councillors and mayors here. We’re talking about the people actually running the council and spending public money.

They repeatedly prove that they can not be trusted to spend money wisely. They act like there is always more of that rates money to use, and there is absolutely no sign of fiscal prudence.

The Auckland Council itself needs a short and sharp shock that follows a clean-out. Some people are responsible for this. They should no longer have a job.

But, as per usual, this will be dealt with in secrecy, a ‘report’ may be commissioned that won’t be shared with the public and it will all come to nothing.

Auckland deserves a mayor and a council who are going to protect the ratepayers instead of council careers.


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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.