The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

‘Public Watchdog’ Howick by-election candidate Penny Bright has launched ‘partial rate$ revolt’ against Auckland $upercity planned 4.9% rate increase.

Penny Bright Independent Candidate Howick by-election:
POSTCARD campaign to National PM John Key  threatening a  ‘partial rate$ revolt’ against Auckland (Supercity) Council proposed 4.9% rate increase has begun.

National Prime Minister John Key supports ‘partial privatisation’ of state assets.

I support a partial ‘rate$ revolt.

Postcards addressed to National Prime Minister John Key, considering ‘not paying this proposed Auckland
Council 4.9% rate increase,were enthusiastically signed by some of the hundreds of attendees at today’s launch of the ‘Mana Party’.

The Auckland Council apparently has received only 1800 submissions to their Draft Annual Plan, where people had an opportunity to comment and make submissions – if they knew anything about it!

(Submissions closed on 1 April 2011).

Over  4000 ‘postcards’ have been printed – which people can sign and send (no stamp required)  are  going  like ‘hotcakes’ !

People are signing them and taking more postcards away for others to sign and send to Prime Minister John Key.

The wording of this ‘postcard’ is as follows:

“This new Auckland  (Supercity) Council is now proposing a 4.9% rates increase!

(While reducing most former Council’s prompt rates payment discounts.)

Where are the ‘economies of scale’ resulting from forcibly abolishing our  eight former councils and replacing them with this ‘corporate controlled  organisation’?

National promised to ‘consult with Aucklanders once the findings of the Royal Commission were known’:<>

You didn’t.   Citizens were denied our lawful right to a ‘binding poll’ and now Auckland is being run ‘like a BIG business, by BIG business , for BIG  business’.

Bigger contract$ for fewer but bigger contractors?   Serving whose  interests?

The ‘books’ are NOT open.
We don’t know the name of the consultants/contractors; the scope, term and  value of these contracts.


Where is the ‘due diligence’, ‘cost-benefit analysis’ and ‘transparency’?

CUT rates by cutting out contractors and bring core Council services back  ‘in-house’!

I pledge to consider not paying this proposed Auckland Council 4.9% rate increase.






(Please advise the Auckland Council forthwith – submissions closed on 1 April 2011)


I  intend to distribute these ‘postcards’ widely both in the Howick Ward, and at upcoming events where I believe there should be considerable interest, including the ‘March for Social Justice, which is being held this Sunday

1 May 2011, at 2pm, starting from opposite Britomart, Auckland City.

I am also  planning to work with others to distribute the above-mentioned postcards in the Epsom electorate, where I  believe those living in high-valued properties should  be suitably horrified with this proposed ‘$upercity’ rates increase – given that the public were led to believe that this forced amalgamation of eight Auckland councils was going to be somehow ‘better’ for ratepayers.

I  remember  how, on the recent Auckland Council Mayoral campaign trail,  former Auckland City Council Mayor John Banks, now National Party/ACT Party proposed Epsom candidate stated how he enthusiastically supported from ‘Day One’ – this Auckland ‘Supercity’.

What I want to know is why would (former?) National Party supporters would want to feed the mouth that bites them?

The answer is simple – cut rates by cutting out the consultants and private contractors and return core council services to ‘in-house’  council provision”

I now have evidence which shows that  the books are NOT open and how the contracting appears to be ‘out of control’. This is  in the form of a recent Local Government Official Information Act reply from the Auckland Council on this pivotal issue of private sector contracts.

Penny Bright
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and
Auckland regional governance matters.
‘World Water Warrior’ – NZ attendee at World Water Forum Kyoto 2003.

Auckland Mayoral candidate 2010.
Botany by-election candidate 2011
Howick by-election candidate 2011

‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference (Brisbane) 2009
Attendee: Transparency International 14th Anti-Corruption Conference
(Bangkok) 2010

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127



Auckland Council 4.9% Draft Annual Plan proposal.

‘Transition Rate

Amalgamates the different rates you previously paid in 2010/2011

including the Auckland Regional Council rate but excluding those for water
supply and wastewater.

Proposed increase from 2010/2011 4.9%

Wastewater rate

Applies to properties that had wastewater or sewerage rate for 2010/2011 and
are connected to Watercare Services Limited network.

Proposed increase from 2010/2011 4.5%

Penalties for late payments of rates are proposed to be 10%.

A discount of 1.5% will be offered for the full payment of rates by the
first installment date.

NBR 1 March 2011 article

Amount spent on consultants in 2008

$62 million

By Bernard Orsman<>
5:00 AM Monday May 26, 2008

Auckland City chief executive David Rankin and senior managers have bent the
rules to hand out millions of dollars in consultancy work to former staff,
official papers show.

Mr Rankin, first as finance director and then chief executive, has overseen
payment of $8.7 million over the past four years in consultancy fees to 29
former staff and companies linked to former staff.

The news follows revelations last week that council spending on consultants
is budgeted to soar to $62.2 million this year, up 9.6 per cent on the $56.7
million budgeted.


April 30, 2011 - Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights, Transparency in Govt spending

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