And they wonder why we call them troughers…

Fairfax even calls them “pigs at the trough“.

Auckland councillors and local board members spent more than $280,000 in the past year feeding themselves at meetings.

As election day looms some local board members, including Kaipatiki Local Board member John Gillon and Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson, say the council needs to put a stop to the lavish spending on food.

In fact, Gillon and Simpson want council’s well paid mayor, councillors and local board members, all 154 of them, to pack lunches like ordinary workers do.

Council figures show that in the 2014-2015 financial year Auckland Council’s committees, including the Governing Body, spent nearly $130,000 catering meetings and events while Auckland’s 21 local boards spent more than $151,000.  

Ironically the budget committee was the biggest spender – racking up a $35,818 in the past year while the seven-member Orakei Local Board was the most lavish of the local boards spending $14,266.

Orakei chairwoman Desley Simpson said she couldn’t believe her board’s catering bill.

“It’s disgraceful that it’s that high.”

Simpson blamed Auckland Council’s top-down “management culture” that, she said, orders catering for boards whether they want it or not.

“There isn’t one Orakei Local Board member who hasn’t said ‘we don’t want or need the catering we get’.

“We don’t see [the ordering], we don’t approve of it.”

Simpson said she often works without a break from 9am to 5pm and unbidden “the food just keeps on coming”.

Troughers must eat.

And you wonder why your rates keep going up.


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