All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others…especially Stephen Town

The troughers are in a tizz:

The chance to debate Auckland Council’s business-class and premium-class travel expenditure has been rejected by its chief executive.

An Auckland Council report found $1.1 million had been spent on international travel from the 20 months up until August this year. Of that almost half, $509,212 was spent on 62 business-class flights.   

The figures did not include council-controlled organisations Watercare and Auckland Transport.

One trip to the United Kingdom cost $15,782. A round trip to London currently costs $3022 for economy class tickets from Air New Zealand.

Councillors Efeso Collins and John Watson put forward a notice of motion for a November 21 meeting of the finance and performance committee.

The motion was to exclude Auckland Council funding being used to purchase business-class and premium-economy flights and to mandate all staff and elected members to proactively report all international travel (destination, purpose of trip and cost) on the Auckland Council website.

But chief executive Stephen Town rejected the notice of motion, which meant it would not be put on the agenda for the meeting.

Shhhh…we must have our business class travel…said Comrade Napoleon Stephen Town.

An Auckland Council spokesperson said it was declined because the matter was already being investigated and due to be reported back to the Finance and Performance Committee in February/March 2018.

“The matter will be more effectively considered as a wider piece of work on expenditure rather than a singular notice of motion.”

Watson disagreed and said the motion should be put to the vote now.

He said the spending was clearly excessive and had been an issue since the Super City’s inception in 2010. In 2014 a motion to scrap business-class travel was overturned by a casting vote from the chairman after a draw.

“This should be decided right here and now it doesn’t have to wait.

“That [spending] is indefensible in this current environment of budgetary restraints and people doing it tough. It’s the behaviour you’d expect from big private corporations not a council struggling to make its books balance.

“There’s a culture of entitlement, they are just going to keep travelling business class irrespective of what the public think.”

Spot on John Watson. But this is a failing of the Mayor, Phil Goff, he’s let Stephen Town develop this entitlement attitude.

Troughers got to trough…and troughers get piggy noses.


-NZ Herald


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