That sure is a lot of KFC

Council lunch for Pasifika leaders?

Auckland Council is out of control.

Their latest outrage is $15,000 on a lunch for Pacific Islands leaders.

An Auckland councillor is demanding answers over why $15,000 was spent on an invitation-only lunch to ask Pacific leaders about their views on Easter Sunday trading.

The invitation to a buffet lunch last Tuesday at the Waipuna Lodge was sent out to 58 Pacific community and church leaders.

Councillor Fa’anānā Efeso Collins said the amount spent was outrageous and a huge cost to the ratepayer, at about $250 per attendee.

“I don’t think that’s a good spend of money and I don’t understand why it was invitation-only when this was about going into the public, consulting the community so that they had a voice.

“The council should have gone through the service agreement to make sure that the consultation process was going to be above board, was going to be genuinely public.”

That is an awful lot of KFC.

The council had sought Aucklanders’ opinions on Easter trading hours online through to 11 June.

It also contracted work to gauge the opinion of select groups, one of which was Pacific people.

The consultant who had the contract to engage with Pacific people was Yvonne Timaloa, managing director of Waycom.

Ms Timaloa said the council knew what she was doing, and had signed off on the cost.

She confirmed the lunch cost $15,000 but said it was part of a wider $25,000 contract the council had agreed to.

Ms Timaloa said there was no tendering process for the contract.

Sounds like someone is taking the piss.

“They gave a brief and told me to come in and we talked about it… they had their ideas and I had my ideas about what we could do in the time we had left. Because I’d done a lot of engagement for the council in the past… that’s how it came about.”

But Ms Timaloa said she wasn’t comfortable that the two Pacific councillors, Fa’anānā Efeso Collins and Alf Filipaina, weren’t at the lunch.

“Because it’s a Pacific leaders fono [meeting], we need our Pacific leaders who are in council to be present.

“I’d written it in my proposal, I verbally said it to the council when we spoke. So I was surprised to find out later on that they weren’t coming.

“And then I was told that I can’t communicate with the councillors because it’s a senior management liaison. So I stayed out of it.”

Sounds like a typical stroppy, know-it-all, entitled trougher.


$15,000 is an awful lot for a lunch.



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