The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

Press Release: PROTEST AGAINST THE AUCKLAND $UPERCITY AND THE CORRUPT CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF AUCKLAND!

1 November 2010

PROTEST AGAINST THE AUCKLAND $UPERCITY AND THE CORRUPT CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF AUCKLAND!

“Auckland Council Inauguration”
WHEN: MONDAY EVENING 1 NOVEMBER 2010

TIME: 5.30PM

WHERE: OUTSIDE AUCKLAND TOWN HALL
QUEEN ST, AUCKLAND CITY

“Serious questions regarding major conflicts of interest, lack of transparency and arguably corrupt practices regarding the Auckland $UPERCITY have still not been answered,” says Water Pressure Group Media Spokesperson Penny Bright.

“That is why, as a registered attendee, I will be raising these, and other questions at Transparency International’s 14th Conference in Thailand from 10 -14 November.

I will be seeking advice from anti-corruption international ‘heavyweights’ on whether the following constitute potentially corrupt practices.”

1) “How did Mark Ford, Executive Chair of the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA), tasked with setting up the ‘Supercity’ framework, end up with two of the ‘top jobs’ himself?

CEO of Watercare and Chair of the ‘statutory entity’ – Auckland Transport?

How was this not a clear ‘conflict of interest’?

2) Why did Mark Ford, as CEO, appoint water privatisers to key executive staff roles in publicly-owned Watercare Services – the ‘wholesale’ water/wastewater ‘ services provider to the Auckland region?

ie: David Hawkins, the former Mayor of Papakura District Council who played a pivotal role in privatising water services to United Water, now 100% owned by Veolia Water – the world’s biggest water multinational.

ie: Graham Wood, former Managing Director of United Water South Australia, to the position of General Manager Operations of Watercare Services, in or about 2007.

3) Why won’t Mark Ford disclose what, (if any) interests he had or may have, either pecuniary or non-pecuniary with:

1) United Water;
2) Veolia Water,

3) Veolia Transport (who have the contract with ARTA (of which he was Chair since 2007) to operate train services on the Auckland Passenger Rail Network.

4) Why, on the Watercare Services Ltd website, when Mark Ford was previously CEO, there was no section which covered the Watercare Shareholders Group,(the governing body made up of representatives of the Councils which own Watercare Services Ltd) to make the following information publicly available: SRG meeting minutes; SRG reports ; information about which elected representatives were actually members of the SRG, and the like.

How was (is) this ‘transparent’?

5) Where is the information which tells residents and ratepayers of the Auckland region where EXACTLY our monies are being spent?

From Franklin to Rodney, where is the publicly available information which shows over a range of 112 possible Councils services, which services are provided ‘in-house’; which are provided by CCOs; which services have been contracted out?

For council services which have been contracted out, where is the publicly available information which gives the name of the contractor, term, value and scope of the contractor?

If information detailing where public monies are being spent is not publicly available for public scrutiny – how is this ‘transparent’?

6) Where is the ‘Register of Interests’ for the Auckland Council elected representatives and their spouses; and council staff responsible for signing off contracts worth hundreds of millions of citizens and ratepayers hard-earned dollars?

HOW CAN CONFLICTS OF INTERESTS BE CHECKED IF THEY ARE NOT DECLARED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

If such ‘Register of Interests’ do not exist, or are not publicly available – how is this ‘transparent’?

7) Why has there has never been any ‘due diligence/ cost-benefit’ analysis since the last council amalgamations; of the ‘contracting-out’ model; or of the Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) model – yet the Auckland $UPERCITY has been forced upon the public of the Auckland region without a binding vote of citizens and ratepayers?

If such changes are forced upon the public, without any evidential basis to support that they will benefit the public majority – how is this not a form of ‘misuse of public office for private gain’ – it the beneficiaries of such changes are going to be the private sector?

How is this not corrupt?

Yet, according to Transparency International’s ‘Corruption Perception Index’ – New Zealand, along with Denmark and Singapore is currently ranked as the least corrupt country in the world?

If New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be one of the least corrupt countries in the world – then arguably – shouldn’t we be the most ‘transparent’?

These matters that pertain to the Auckland $UPERCITY, and others I intend to raise at the Transparency International Conference – to help provide a New Zealand corruption ‘reality check’ against the New Zealand corruption ‘perception’.”

Penny Bright

Media Spokesperson

Water Pressure Group

Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ for Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.

“Anti-corruption https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825

021 211 4 127

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October 31, 2010 - Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting water privatisation in NZ, Metrowater, Stop the $uper City

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