The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

PROTEST AGAINST NATIONAL’S PROPOSED ASSET SALES & BUDGET CUTS! NATIONAL PARTY CONFERENCE: WHEN: SUNDAY 29 MAY 2011 10AM OUTSIDE WAIPUNA LODGE

PROTEST AGAINST NATIONAL’S

PROPOSED ASSET SALES & BUDGET CUTS!

NATIONAL PARTY CONFERENCE:

WHEN: SUNDAY 29 MAY 2011

TIME:  10AM

WHERE: OUTSIDE WAIPUNA LODGE

56 WAIPUNA RD

MT WELLINGTON

 

STOP THIS ‘WAR ON THE POOR!’

NO MORE ‘ROGERNOMIC$’!

NO MORE PRIVATISATION!

 

MAP:

http://www.waipunahotel.co.nz/Home/MapDrive

 

(Organised at short notice by concerned citizens).

 

This National Party “A” Team, and National

Party “B” (Bra$h) Team, is all ‘perception

deception’, designed to bring about more

‘Rogernomic$’.


A vote for Don is a vote for John.

A vote for John is a vote for Don.


What is the real difference between National and

ACT – if both their policies and personnel are so

readily interchangeable?


John and Don – what a ‘CON’!


Serving the interests of their CONsultant and

CONtractor mate$?


Those private ‘piggy-in-the-middle’ corporate

welfare beneficiaries who are making a fortune

from core central and local government services

which were once provided ‘in-house’?

It’s time to rollback – not extend ‘Rogernomic$’!

CUT OUT THE PRIVATE CONSULTANTS AND

CONTRACTORS FROM CENTRAL AND LOCAL

GOVERNMENT!

BETTER THE ‘BUREAUCRACY’ THAN THE

‘CONTRACTOCRACY’!

SOCIAL WELFARE – NOT CORPORATE WELFARE!

LOOK AFTER THE NEEDY – NOT THE GREEDY!

Wonder what the reaction will be to this ‘Tui

Billboard banner’ that will be outside this National

Party Conference Sunday 29 May 2011 at 10am?

Got great coverage on today’s news!

 

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5069330/Coalition-protests-tough-budget

LAWRENCE SMITH

(You need to scroll to the right to see ‘Tui Bill board banner’ in full )

BUDGET PROTEST: About 100 people marched up Queen street protesting last week’s budget which Sue Bradford said was an attack on low income workers.

http://tvnz.co.nz/one-news/video
______________________________

______________________

Penny Bright
Media Spokesperson Water Pressure Group
Judicially-recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
‘Anti-corruption’ campaigner.

https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

May 28, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Stop the $uper City, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

KIWIBLOG ‘General Debate’ 24 May 2011: My post outlining complaint to Chief Archivist about Auckland Council’s alleged failure to maintain full and accurate contracting records + responses.

General Debate 24 May 2011 Add this story to Scoopit!.

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91 Responses to “General Debate 24 May 2011”


  1. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 8:25 am Good moaning ‘Kiwibloggers’! ;)

    Yesterday, Monday 23 May 2011 I made an historic first complaint to Chief Archivist about Auckland Council’s alleged failure to maintain full and accurate ‘contracting’ records.

    I arrived at the Office of the National Archives with evidence which, in my considered opinion, proves that ‘contracting’ at Auckland Council is effectively ‘out-of-control’ and made a formal written complaint to the Chief Archivist, about an alleged breach, by Auckland Council, of s 61 (c) of the Public Records Act 2005, because the Auckland Council

    ‘(c) contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any regulations made under it.

    (This alleged failure to comply attaches to s 17 (1) of the Public Records Act 2005:

    ‘Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its offices in accordance with normal prudent business practice, including the records of any matter which is contracted out to an independent contractor.’

    (Evidence to support this complaint is provided in detail on my blog).

    I will be formally advising the Governing Body of the Auckland Council of this development, at their meeting this morning Tuesday 24 May 2011 at the former Manukau Council Chamber at 10am, where myself and fellow ‘Public Watchdog’ community activist, Lisa Prager have speaking rights.

    How can the elected representatives of the Auckland ‘$upercity’ Council support this 3.7% rate$ increase – when there cannot have been proper ‘line-by-line’ accounting because full and accurate records of contracts are not being kept in a proper way?

    In my considered opinion, if the private ‘piggies-in-the-middle’ consultants and contractors were removed from core Council services and returned to ‘in-house’ provision – there could be savings to residents and ratepayers of hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Whose interests are being served here, and where exactly are our public monies going?

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  2. Murray (7,635) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 8:30 am Piss off idiot.
  3. bearhunter (849) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 8:39 am Murray, I see the dreadful twat (Fowler, not Bright) is saying that it wasn’t derogatory now. Perhaps he should try to substitute “Irish” for “Maori” and see how far he gets. Gobshite.
  4. Nookin (843) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 8:40 am I think that if ACC adds a further 3% to the rates it might come close to having the resources to comply with the forms-in-triplicate mentality that seems to pervade bureaucracy throughout New Zealand. Keep it up, Penny. Once you get strict compliance you might well have added 10% to the local householder bill. Won’t they be pleased with you then? And how proud will you be?

















  5. Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 12:20 pm Bugger. Post at 8.25am. The reprieve is over… the blog blight is back with more electioneering.






  6. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 2:20 pm # Nookin (842) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I think that if ACC adds a further 3% to the rates it might come close to having the resources to comply with the forms-in-triplicate mentality that seems to pervade bureaucracy throughout New Zealand. Keep it up, Penny. Once you get strict compliance you might well have added 10% to the local householder bill. Won’t they be pleased with you then? And how proud will you be?”

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I prefer the bureaucracy to the ‘contractocracy’ ‘Nookin’.

    Over the last 20 years, after so much contracting out of core Council services to the supposedly more ‘efficient’ private sector – have YOUR rates gone up or down?

    Duh?

    I also support our lawful right to ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government, and have taken a step that no one else has, to help enforce the maintenance of ‘full and accurate’ records of all contract entered into with ‘independent contractors’.

    How can rates reductions be achieved by ‘line-by-line’ accounting – if the ‘accounts’ are not being kept in a proper way?

    How can Councillors from ANY political persuasion agree to ANY rates increases – if they don’t know where rates monies are being spent?

    Or ‘Nookin’ is your position on this matter that you don’t care that prudent stewardship is not being exercised over public monies, and you don’t care if rates go up?

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com


  7. Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 2:25 pm @ Nookin: Please DNFTT!

    Friday will soon come around and the blog blight will be spanked again – this time courtesy of the voters within the Howick Ward.

    EEEK!


  8. nasska (589) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 2:42 pm Elaycee

    Do you know what time Friday the results will be available to the public? I’d hate to miss a moment of the celebrations.


  9. reid (7,386) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 3:39 pm Well I don’t know about you guys but I’m extremely concerned that ACC is clearly deliberately concealing the true and actual arrangements it has with its contractors and I think this should be investigated, were anyone actually ready and able to do it.

    This is a serious problem people, requiring some sort of public watchdog activity of the very highest and most urgent order. Alacrity is king, should be the watchword for today.

    If only someone, somewhere, could take on this utterly vital and necessary role.

    But none exist.

    Oh the humanity.

  10. Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 3:40 pm Nasska – Rest assured I’ll keep you in the loop. But don’t plan to attend any ‘blog blight celebration party’ any time soon…

  11. _
  12. nasska (589) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 3:55 pm Reid

    I feel for you in your despair. With such a blatant conspiracy going on who will you turn to?

    I can only console you with the thought that cometh the hour, cometh the man (or madwoman).





  13. nasska (589) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 5:12 pm Reid

    Over the past week or so I have noticed a disturbing phenomenon. Fortunately it has been confined to a very small number of commenters on Kiwiblog but I thought I should run it past you in case you consider that it should be brought to the notice of the authorities.

    There have been a couple of comments made on this blog supporting the work Water Woman is doing in opening our eyes to the incredible conspiracies going on around us. While it would be easy to dismiss these commenters as aliens or methos having a bad day there is another possibility.

    I refer of course to a version of the “Stockholm Syndrome”. Is it possible that these sad people have worn out their scroll wheels & are now actually forced to read the cut & paste ramblings of the resident madwoman? They may have become enslaved by the wafflings of their captor & their now addled brains see her as a benign source of information.

    Your thoughts & any recommendations for appropriate therapy could help these poor souls.

  14. Sofia (145) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 5:30 pm nasska –
    There have been a couple of comments made on this blog supporting the work Water Woman is doing in opening our eyes to the incredible conspiracies going on around us. While it would be easy to dismiss these commenters as aliens or methos having a bad day there is another possibility.

    This conspiracy of yours, nasska, may be supported by the comments, to which I think you refer, are not ripped to shreds by the afore mentioned Water Person.

    On the other hand –
    Your thoughts & any recommendations for appropriate therapy could help these poor souls.

    it might be that these ‘other’ comments ARE therapy.
    Or even anti-thesis, to the GAMES PEOPLE PLAY [see a synopsis of this treatise by famed Dr Eric Berne] – the game player in this case being the Water Person, a textbook case for transactional analysis.

  15. Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 5:31 pm @ Nasska says: “cometh the hour, cometh the man (or madwoman).”

    Wash your mouth out.


  16. nasska (589) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 5:46 pm Sofia

    Alas, there are so many complications.

  17. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 5:57 pm # Elaycee (175) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    @ Nookin: Please DNFTT!

    Friday will soon come around and the blog blight will be spanked again – this time courtesy of the voters within the Howick Ward.

    EEEK!
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Ah yes – another profound comment from the gormless , more dollars than sense ‘Elaycee’ who doesn’t care where her rate$ monies are spent and doesn’t support ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government.

    Whatever dear ……………….. (yawn…………………..)

    There are now THOUSANDS of people who live and/or travel through the Howick Ward who have seen the signs:

    “NO RATE$ INCREASE!”

    “CUT OUT THE CONTRACTOR$!”

    “SUPERCITY = SUPER RIP OFF!”

    90,000 voters have read my 150 word ‘Candidate’s Statement’ – where I have outlined my opposition to any rates increase.

    So – whatever the outcome of the election (you SILLY woman) – the message is out there (which is the main reason why I stood in the first place.)

    (Opposing rate$ increases is a message that you ‘Elaycee’ – would quite possibly support – if it were not coming from me?)

    One day, dear – when you learn the political sophistication of ‘issue by issue’ politics – you will perhaps realise how ineffective you are being?

    However – such a realisation would require a modicum of intelligence/ common sense – so unfortunately – I’m not expecting you to catch on any time soon.

    Same comment applies to ‘Nasska’ , ‘Sofia’ ‘Reid’ and ‘Nookin’?

    (Unless of course you have your own private contracting snouts in the public trough, or are connected in any way with those who have?

    PERISH THE THOUGHT!

    But, of course with your GUTLESS anonymity – there is no way of checking – is there?

    How convenient !

    (Meant of course in my customary caring way ;)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  18. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 6:04 pm # KH (149) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    If I had to chose between having the dodgy ‘free’ trade agreement and Pharmac
    I would choose Pharmac ”
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I agree KH.

    Have you seen this?

    “POSTCARDS OPPOSING TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT AVAILABLE TO SEND TO POLITICIANS

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is the means to effect a Free Trade Agreement with the US.

    For full details on why this would have a very negative impact on NZ, check http://www.nznotforsale.org

    There is no bigger issue this election.

    Two versions of a postcard opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement are now available, one to be sent to PM Key, the other to an MP of the sender’s choice. Postage is free (because they’re going to Parliament).

    Here is the text (which is the same on each one).

    “Dear Prime Minister Key

    I urge the Government to withdraw from negotiations for the TPPA and instead put New Zealand’s national interest at the heart of all trade and investment negotiations, rather than the interests of transnational corporations and the US government.

    The TPPA will, among other things: undermine what little NZ has left in the way of any controls of foreign investment; institutionalise the very same horrendous financial practices which led to the global financial crisis; allow American corporations to sue the New Zealand government in private international tribunals; attack Pharmac and drive up the cost of prescription medicines; make access to digital recordings more expensive and copying more restricted; attack our GE and tobacco controls and food labeling and food and appliance safety standards; and weaken our controls of food imports where they might carry disease. The whole process is both secret and fundamentally undemocratic in the way in which it is being negotiated and then ratified by Executive decree.

    I will be voting for a party which puts our national interest first, not those of foreign corporations under a TPPA”.

    The cards are also online at http://www.box.net/shared/ju1gxifyio and people are welcome to download and print their own. Bear in mind that they are meant to be on light card, not paper’

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  19. Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 6:07 pm Blog Blight: Roll on Friday. It doesn’t matter what you think – the voters are the ones that matter.

    The only good thing about the election for you is that, after its all over and you are licking your wounds, you can still use your signs for firewood.

  20. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 6:25 pm # Elaycee (180) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Blog Blight: Roll on Friday. It doesn’t matter what you think – the voters are the ones that matter.

    The only good thing about the election for you is that, after its all over and you are licking your wounds, you can still use your signs for firewood.”
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    errrr….. ‘Elaycee’ – have you overdosed on your ‘THICK’ pills?

    HANDY HINT 101: If you are going to make a comment about someone else’s post – it does actually pay to READ it – so you don’t make a complete IDIOT of yourself?

    You seem to have missed this bit – so I’ll repeat it so you hopefully will engage your ENORMOUS brain before typing your next response?

    “There are now THOUSANDS of people who live and/or travel through the Howick Ward who have seen the signs:

    “NO RATE$ INCREASE!”

    “CUT OUT THE CONTRACTOR$!”

    “SUPERCITY = SUPER RIP OFF!”

    90,000 voters have read my 150 word ‘Candidate’s Statement’ – where I have outlined my opposition to any rates increase.

    So – whatever the outcome of the election (you SILLY woman) – the message is out there (which is the main reason why I stood in the first place.) ”

    Ok ‘Elaycee’?

    GOT IT dear?

    (I’ll be celebrating whatever the outcome of the election, and will have more signs I can use IF I decide to stand in the Epsom electorate?

    ;)

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  21. Steve (1,506) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 6:47 pm Penny,
    The Space Station is above NZ right now, the people onboard need someone intelligent to talk to coz they are bored shitless. NZ shitstirers is on the menu of things to do today.

    It is ‘Space Station’ ok not ‘playstation’




  22. Hurf Durf (2,727) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:06 pm Anyone see Ebola manage to make his crap speech about US-Irish relations all about himself? “Is feideh linn!!!” Really? Really? Piss off. Still, I got to see his car get broken by his wife’s fat arse so swings and roundabouts.

    Speaking of losers, they’ve found traces of DSK’s DNA (stop giggling in the back there) on the dress of that chambermaid. Looks like an open and shut case, Danno etc.

    Only four more days until polls close, Penny! Are you confident? I think you’ll make a great (snort) and useful (guffaw) contribution to Auckland Council. Nah, couldn’t keep a straight face. Sorry.

    Apparently even Camping might be way off. Iran has pencilled in the return of the Mahdi for the 5th June so I get to keep off doing any housework for another week and get a few more beers in. Bonzer.

  23. reid (7,386) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:37 pm nasska your 5:12 raises an interesting, serious and critical point.

    I wonder if I shouldn’t call: The Bureau?

  24. Viking2 (4,092) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:45 pm National’s Tau Henare has “overstepped the line” by calling Hone Harawira “so racist, he has chocolate milk in his cup of tea,” a fellow MP says. :lol:

    Henare – who has been dubbed the Minister of Twitter for his prolific use of the social networking site – posted the comment on his Twitter account earlier this afternoon.

    Labour MP Trevor Mallard, also an enthusiastic social media user, said “it’s beyond the limits.” :cry: :cry:

    “The line is drawn in a different place on Twitter, but in this case Tau has gone beyond it. It’s unlikely to upset many people, mainly because of the way that Hone is perceived by a lot of people. :x

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5048491/Twittering-Tau-Henare-in-chocolate-milk-racism-storm

  25. Viking2 (4,092) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:50 pm White kiwi chick hatched
    A rarity these days a bit like virgins.

    A rare white kiwi chick has been born – the first to be hatched in captivity.

    The chick, named Manukura, is not an albino but the rare offspring of some North Island brown kiwi from Little Barrier Island.

    But wouldn’t you know it the racists manage to even claim the white one as their’s. Rangitane chief executive Jason Kerehi said tribal elders saw the white chick as a “tohu” or “sign” of new beginnings.

    Well they would given the dosh the Nats. have handed them lately.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/cutestuff/5047359/White-kiwi-chick-hatched

  26. Pauleastbay (924) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:50 pm V2

    I would have thought asssaulting a fellow MP was pretty much “beyond the limits”, call me old fashioned

  27. Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:53 pm Ground Control to the blog blight:

    I’ve certainly received the candidate statements. My vote has already been cast. Roll on Friday.

    Hard to see how you could possibly consider a right spanking and rejection courtesy of the voters as a success. But you never know – you may even reach the dizzy heights and get 1.0% of the vote this time. Er, but then again, maybe not…

    BTW – I’ll have to take your word re the number of words in your candidate statement – I got a headache halfway through the fir$t paragraph!

    I’ve also done my bit for the community and helped track down the cats and dogs that fled the scene after they saw your picture and your hoarding in Cook St last Saturday. One of the poor dogs (a rare, Tibetan Yak Hound) nearly reached the outskirts of Hamilton before it slowed and a ranger could get a leash clipped to it’s collar. Its still shaking but the vet says its not unusual in cases of severe shock.

    Luckily, its expected to make a full recovery.

  28. nasska (589) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:58 pm Reid

    A man such as Quiller who wouldn’t crack under torture, especially hydro-torture, might be able to infiltrate Water Woman’s extensive network of conspiracy experts. Only then could we know for certain whether any of our fellow Kiwiblog commenters have been taken captive & had their minds reprogrammed.

    We owe it to the poor bastards.



  29. reid (7,386) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 8:07 pm Roger nasska, will set wheels in motion.
  30. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 9:19 pm # Elaycee (184) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Ground Control to the blog blight:

    I’ve certainly received the candidate statements. My vote has already been cast. Roll on Friday.

    Hard to see how you could possibly consider a right spanking and rejection courtesy of the voters as a success. But you never know – you may even reach the dizzy heights and get 1.0% of the vote this time. Er, but then again, maybe not…

    BTW – I’ll have to take your word re the number of words in your candidate statement – I got a headache halfway through the fir$t paragraph!

    I’ve also done my bit for the community and helped track down the cats and dogs that fled the scene after they saw your picture and your hoarding in Cook St last Saturday. One of the poor dogs (a rare, Tibetan Yak Hound) nearly reached the outskirts of Hamilton before it slowed and a ranger could get a leash clipped to it’s collar. Its still shaking but the vet says its not unusual in cases of severe shock.

    Luckily, its expected to make a full recovery.”

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    So ‘Elaycee’ – I see your intellectual prowess is closely matched by your wit and repartee.

    (yawn ……………)

    At least you can put a face to my name – unlike GUTLESS/anonymous ‘Kiwibloggers’ such as yourself?

    (Meant of course in a caring way, dear :)

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  31. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 9:30 pm # nasska (586) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Reid

    A man such as Quiller who wouldn’t crack under torture, especially hydro-torture, might be able to infiltrate Water Woman’s extensive network of conspiracy experts. Only then could we know for certain whether any of our fellow Kiwiblog commenters have been taken captive & had their minds reprogrammed.

    We owe it to the poor bastards.”
    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    Then again ‘ nasska’ – have you considered that the ‘fellow Kiwiblog commenters’ to whom you are referring, may just have a greater intellectual capacity than yourself and ‘reid’, and/or might actually (unlike yourselves) also have a better understanding of the principles and practice of ‘freedom of expression’?

    You could also start more ad hominem attacks on them, for daring to hold a point of view that is different to your own?

    (ESPECIALLY if they have the temerity to agree with me on some issues! :)

    Or is consistency also not one of your strong points?

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  32. reid (7,386) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 9:39 pm Quiller was dispatched from London 10 mins ago, Penny. I’d be quite worried, were I you.
  33. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 9:51 am # reid (7,381) Says:
    May 24th, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Quiller was dispatched from London 10 mins ago, Penny. I’d be quite worried, were I you.”
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Think I’ve got more important things to worry about ‘reid’.

    Like the total lack of transparency regarding hundreds of million$ of apparently unaccountable Auckland regional citizens and ratepayers monies which are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors.

    Happening here i(n New Zealand – ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world (along with Singapore and Denmark according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index’. Pity about the REALITY!)

    No central registers of contracts?
    No ‘devilish detail’ giving the names of the contractors; scope, term and value of contracts?

    How can elected the Auckland Council elected representatives, make prudent decisions about rates, when there appears to be no basis for ‘line-by-line’ accounting?

    Why are ‘core’ Council services, such as fixing the footpaths, water pipes, roads; trimming the grass and trees, looking after parks and reserves; planning ……….. not being carried out ‘in-house’ by Council staff?

    Why have we got two lots of private ‘piggies-in-the-middle’ – private contractors who are carrying out core council work – then private consultants employed as ‘project managers’ to administer the ‘works contractors’?

    If replacing the bureaucracy with the ‘contractocracy’is SO efficient – why have Council rates continued to go up – not down?

    Unlike the whining ‘Kiwibloggers’ – who constantly attack me – at least I have a proven track record of doing something to help stop this rort.

    That’s the thing about ‘activists’.

    We may get bad press – but we do have a habit of making things happen and getting things done.

    Perhaps those who do not have their heads firmly embedded in their bottoms have a wider perspective, and are in a better position to take a more appreciative overview?

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  34. reid (7,386) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 10:04 am at least I have a proven track record of doing something to help stop this rort

    No, you don’t. You have a proven track record of raising issues that don’t matter, or if they do matter, don’t actually exist.

    Every single issue you’ve raised since you’ve chosen to inflict yourself on we here, is trivial. Just like this one is. See, just for this example, it may well be that the i’s aren’t dotted and the t’s aren’t crossed, on the ACC contractor’s records. But even if that’s the case, THIS DOES NOT MEAN SOMETHING SINISTER IS GOING ON.

    Like the mad Don Quixote however, you just can’t see that and instead, when no-one else agrees with you, you take it to mean you’re onto something quite serious indeed and you must press on regardless of the resistance.

    Now Penny, sorry, but this is mental. You’ve got some quite serious delusion going on in your head, I suggest you see a specialist in counselling people with paranoia, because you are.

    As I’ve told you before, you don’t add value because no-one here thinks you raise any serious issues whatsoever. Now it could be that we’re wrong, or it could be that you’re wrong. Have you seriously considered the latter possibility, or not really? I’ve also told you how to start adding value, but you won’t, instead you perpetuate your mad Don behaviour, daily inflicting it upon us, and then you’re surprised you get resistance.

    As I said Penny, this is mental and you need to see someone about it.

  35. Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 10:06 am Oh oh – the blog blight returns…

    Memo to BB: Why don’t we just let the good folk of Howick Ward decide whether they accept your views or consign them to the garbage. Your blatant electioneering is repetitive and tiresome.

    Roll on Friday.

    EEEK!

  36. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 10:14 am So – obviously not going to hear a loud ‘popping’ sound anytime soon from ‘reid’ or ‘Elaycee’?

    The loud ‘popping’ sound of heads being suddenly extracted from bottoms?

    Pity.

    However – just seems to prove the point (again) that there are none so blind as those who WILL not see?

    Continue your blissful ignorance – and both of you have a LOVELY day! :)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  37. Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 10:31 am Blog Blight: The only popping sound will come from the champagne corks. Winners are grinners.

    EEEK!

  38. reid (7,386) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 10:37 am OK Penny prove me wrong. Explain precisely what is sinister about what you’ve discovered over the ACC contractor records. Tell us exactly what the shortcomings are, and exactly why, in your opinion, this is a problem. You haven’t done this yet, BTW, if you think you have, for every single one of your posts above consists merely of your bald allegation there’s a problem with the register, but you haven’t explained the nature of the problem. Nor have you explained precisely why, in factual terms, this is a sinister issue. You’ve said that in your opinion it is, but you haven’t given any facts to back that up.

    Be really really specific and factual and don’t waste my time with your opinion, lay the facts out, as clearly as you can. Facts only, not your opinion.

    Can you do that?

    If not, why not.

  39. Nookin (843) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 10:55 am Reid
    Is Jonathon Quinn coming as well?
    http://www.brettbattles.com/
  40. alex Masterley (700) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:02 am As an aside the last time some-one complained about ACC contractors (the blokes who did the curbing and footpaths if i recall correctly), rudman in the herald i think, an audit was done on the contractors works and who owed what to whom. Banksie got all hot under the collar about it too.
    Rudman suggested the contractor owed the council money.
    However when the dust settled the audit showed the council actually owed the contractor more money than was thought.
    Red faces all round.
  41. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:02 am Ok ‘reid’ – here is the FACTUAL EVIDENCE which you have requested:

    (Apologies folks for the length of this post – but it contains the FULL OIA reply – and ‘reid’ has ‘asked for it’ (as it were :)
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I made a formal written complaint to the Chief Archivist, (Monday 23 May 2011) about an alleged breach, by Auckland Council, of s 61 (c) of the Public Records Act 2005, because the Auckland Council

    ‘(c) contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any regulations made under it.

    (This alleged failure to comply attaches to s 17 (1) of the Public Records Act 2005:

    ‘Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its offices in accordance with normal prudent business practice, including the records of any matter which is contracted out to an independent contractor.’ ) ”

    The evidence to support this complaint, included the following items of correspondence:

    1) 10 March 2011: ‘Open Letter/ Local Government and Official Information Act (LGOIMA) request to the CEO of Auckland Council.

    2) 26 April 2011: Reply from Bruce Thomas ‘Public Information Manager’ Auckland Council, including copies of transfers for information to the 7 Auckland Council CCO’s (and Council Organisation).

    3) 16 May 2011: LGOIMA reply from the Regional Facilities Auckland CCO.

    4) 11 March 2011″ Acknowledgment by Ministerial Secretary Jess Van Harlem (Office of Minister of Local Government Rodney Hide) of my originating ‘Open Letter/LGOIMA request of 10 March 2011.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    THIS IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PIECE OF EVIDENCE:

    It comprises of my questions and the replies from Bruce Thomas ‘Public Information Manager’ Auckland Council, as follows:

    2) 26 April 2011: Reply from Bruce Thomas ‘Public Information Manager’ Auckland Council

    (Official Information Request No. 9000108231)

    26 April 2011

    Dear Ms Bright

    Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987
    Re: requests for evidence of record

    I refer to your email dated 10 March 2011, which we received on 11 March 2011, requesting information about records relating to independent contractors.

    As a general comment, we note that section 17(1) of the Public Records Act 2005 to which you refer does not establish an obligation to create and maintain a register of contracts and nor is there any other statutory obligation to do so. Nonetheless, the Council is currently in the process of developing such a register. Even once it is established, the information contained in the register is unlikely to be disclosed on the grounds that to do so would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information. Of course, any requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Please note that Council Controlled Organisations are independent entities separate from the Auckland Council.
    They have their own obligations to respond to requests under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

    Regarding your request, we have responded to your questions in the order in which they were raised.

    1) The information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, each of the following local authorities had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor:

    a) Auckland Regional Council (ARC)
    b) Auckland City Council
    c) Manukau City Council
    d) Waitakere City Council
    e) North Shore City Council
    f) Rodney District Council
    g) Papakura District Council
    h) Franklin District Council

    2) Please provide the information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, how many Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) operated under each of the following local authorities:

    a) Auckland Regional Council (ARC)
    b) Auckland City Council
    c) Manukau City Council
    d) Waitakere City Council
    e) North Shore City Council
    f) Rodney District Council
    g) Papakura District Council
    h) Franklin District Council

    Your request is refused under section 17(f) of the Act on the basis that the information requested, to the extent it may exist or be held by the Auckland Council, cannot be made available without substantial collation or research.

    17. Refusal of requests

    A request made in accordance with section 10 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the following reasons, namely:

    (f) That the information requested cannot be made available without substantial collation or research.

    3) Please provide the information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, that each ‘Council Controlled Organisation’ (CCO) operating under each of the above-mentioned local authorities had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

    4) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time that the Auckland Transition Agency (A.T.A.) was operating, that they had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

    Your request is refused under section 17(g)(i) of the Act on the basis that the information requested is not held by the local authority and we have no grounds for believing that the information is held by another organisation. Alternatively, your request is refused under section 17(f) on the basis cannot be made available without substantial research.

    17. Refusal of requests.

    A request made in accordance with section 10 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the following reasons, namely:

    (g) That the information requested is not held by the local authority and the person dealing with the request has no grounds for believing that the information is either-

    (i) Held by another local authority or a Department or Minister of the Crown or organisation;

    5) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time the Auckland Council has been operating, there has been created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ established for for any matter which has been contracted out to an independent contractor.

    7) Please provide the information which confirms that in each of the above-mentioned categories, auditors responsible to the Office of the Auditor-General, have double-checked that a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ has been created and maintained.

    8) Please provide the information which confirms that in accordance with normal prudent business practice, Auckland Council has now ‘amalgamated’, created and maintains full and accurate records of any matter which has been contracted out to an independent contractor, including the above-mentioned Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organistions’ (CCOs); Council organisations and ‘statutory entities’.

    As mentioned at the beginning of this letter, this information does not yet exist and your request is therefore refused under section 17 (e) of the Act.

    17. Refusal of requests

    A refusal made in accordance with section 10 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the following reasons, namely:

    (e) That the document alleged to contain the information requested does not exist or cannot be found.

    6) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time the each of the following Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organistions’ (CCOs); Council organisations and ‘statutory entities’ has been operating, there has been created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ established for for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

    a) Auckland Council Investments (ACIC)
    b) Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (TEED)
    c) Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA)
    d) Auckland Council Property Ltd (ACPL)
    e) Auckland Waterfront Development Agency (AWDA)
    f) Watercare Services Ltd
    g) Auckland Transport

    The information, to the extent it may exist, is not held by the Auckland Council and your request has been transferred to the organisations listed above. A copy of our letter of transfer is attached for your information.

    9) Please provide the name and position of the Auckland Council employee who is ultimately responsible for the creation and maintenance of records of any matter which is contracted out to an independent contractor, as defined in s17 of the Public Records Act 2001, and would bear ultimate responsibility for any of the following offences:

    61 Offences
    Every person commits an offence who wilfully or negligently—
    (a) damages a public record; or
    (b) disposes of or destroys a public record otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act; or
    (c) contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any regulations made under it.

    The Auckland Council has a corporate responsibility to comply with the Public Records Act 2005.

    You have the right in accordance with section 27(3) of the LGOIMA to make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman regarding council’s refusal to release any information under this letter and for the delay in getting this response to you.

    If you have any further queries please contact me on
    (09) 301 0101, quoting Official Information Request No. 90000108231

    Yours sincerely

    pp (? not legible)

    Bruce Thomas
    Public Information Manager
    Democracy Services

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Hope this helps ‘reid’.

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  42. Manolo (4,214) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:03 am Nutter alert, nutter alert.
  43. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:16 am # alex Masterley (700) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:02 am

    As an aside the last time some-one complained about ACC contractors (the blokes who did the curbing and footpaths if i recall correctly), rudman in the herald i think, an audit was done on the contractors works and who owed what to whom. Banksie got all hot under the collar about it too.
    Rudman suggested the contractor owed the council money.
    However when the dust settled the audit showed the council actually owed the contractor more money than was thought.
    Red faces all round.”
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Why are core Council services, such as footpaths construction, repairs and maintenance being contracted out to the private sector in the first place?

    Where is the ‘cost-benefit’ analysis which PROVES that this is a more ‘cost-effective’ use of residents and ratepayers monies than when such services were provided ‘in-house’?

    How much private profit have those with Council footpath contracts made since the contracting-out of this core Council services began?

    How is the use by Councils of this ‘business’ model serving the interests of anyone other than those who get this Council ‘business’?

    Who is checking for conflicts of interest between those who give out the contracts and those who receive the contracts?

    There is NO publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for either elected representatives, or council staff/ consultants who sign off these contracts.

    How can ‘conflicts of interest’ be prevented, if interests are not ‘declared’ in the first place?

    (This principle equally applies to NZ Judges).

    To rely on the integrity of elected representatives or staff to just ‘put their hand up’, and declare an interest at the time of a potential conflict does NOT work for me.

    Not good enough.

    How can you double-check ‘interests’ – which are only known to the person concerned (ie: inside their head)?

    Honestly – how ON EARTH can NZ be perceived to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ when we have so little genuine transparency?

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  44. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:18 am # Manolo (4,214) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Nutter alert, nutter alert.”
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    It’s ok ‘Manolo’.

    We’re used to you and accept you for what you are.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  45. reid (7,386) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:22 am Yes Manolo I thought I’d wait till this was yesterday’s GD out of deference to those who couldn’t be arsed with what this is going to become.

    Penny what precisely does this establish, in anyway? What sinister secret is lurking beneath this “evidence?” You haven’t explained that. All you’ve said is some of them do have a register and some of them don’t, and the reply says we note that section 17(1) of the Public Records Act 2005 to which you refer does not establish an obligation to create and maintain a register of contracts and nor is there any other statutory obligation to do so.

    What about that, don’t you understand.

    In other words, so fucking what, if there is, or isn’t, any register? S-o f-u-c-k-i-n-g w-h-a-t?

    What your “evidence” establishes Penny is precisely what I said above, about your tilting at windmills. You pick on some trivial issue like the lack of a contractor’s register, then somehow, somewhere, over the rainbow, make a leap of logic that this means something sinister is going on. Newsflash Penny, it doesn’t look like it, to us, it never did and this “evidence” does nothing to establish that one way or the other. In other words, it doesn’t mean there is, and it doesn’t mean there isn’t. Now you clearly think there is something going on, and that might be because you have got some paranoid delusion about how the world works, that the rest of us don’t have. Now on the basis of probabilities, do you think there is any chance that if most of the world thinks one thing about something, and one or two people think another thing, who do you think might be correct, on the basis of probability, given there is no evidence, one way or the other.

    If this is all you’ve got, it just proves what I said Penny. You think otherwise, then spell it out. Tell me exactly what is wrong in that reply, from specific excerpts. I’ve highlighted a few myself, which I think are reasonable responses to an unreasonable question.

    THIS IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PIECE OF EVIDENCE:

    It comprises of my questions and the replies from Bruce Thomas ‘Public Information Manager’ Auckland Council, as follows:

    2) 26 April 2011: Reply from Bruce Thomas ‘Public Information Manager’ Auckland Council

    (Official Information Request No. 9000108231)

    26 April 2011

    Dear Ms Bright

    Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987
    Re: requests for evidence of record

    I refer to your email dated 10 March 2011, which we received on 11 March 2011, requesting information about records relating to independent contractors.

    As a general comment, we note that section 17(1) of the Public Records Act 2005 to which you refer does not establish an obligation to create and maintain a register of contracts and nor is there any other statutory obligation to do so. Nonetheless, the Council is currently in the process of developing such a register. Even once it is established, the information contained in the register is unlikely to be disclosed on the grounds that to do so would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information. Of course, any requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Please note that Council Controlled Organisations are independent entities separate from the Auckland Council.
    They have their own obligations to respond to requests under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

    Regarding your request, we have responded to your questions in the order in which they were raised.

    1) The information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, each of the following local authorities had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor:

    a) Auckland Regional Council (ARC)
    b) Auckland City Council
    c) Manukau City Council
    d) Waitakere City Council
    e) North Shore City Council
    f) Rodney District Council
    g) Papakura District Council
    h) Franklin District Council

    2) Please provide the information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, how many Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) operated under each of the following local authorities:

    a) Auckland Regional Council (ARC)
    b) Auckland City Council
    c) Manukau City Council
    d) Waitakere City Council
    e) North Shore City Council
    f) Rodney District Council
    g) Papakura District Council
    h) Franklin District Council

    Your request is refused under section 17(f) of the Act on the basis that the information requested, to the extent it may exist or be held by the Auckland Council, cannot be made available without substantial collation or research.

    17. Refusal of requests

    A request made in accordance with section 10 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the following reasons, namely:

    (f) That the information requested cannot be made available without substantial collation or research.

    3) Please provide the information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, that each ‘Council Controlled Organisation’ (CCO) operating under each of the above-mentioned local authorities had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

    4) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time that the Auckland Transition Agency (A.T.A.) was operating, that they had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

    Your request is refused under section 17(g)(i) of the Act on the basis that the information requested is not held by the local authority and we have no grounds for believing that the information is held by another organisation. Alternatively, your request is refused under section 17(f) on the basis cannot be made available without substantial research.

    17. Refusal of requests.

    A request made in accordance with section 10 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the following reasons, namely:

    (g) That the information requested is not held by the local authority and the person dealing with the request has no grounds for believing that the information is either-

    (i) Held by another local authority or a Department or Minister of the Crown or organisation;

    5) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time the Auckland Council has been operating, there has been created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ established for for any matter which has been contracted out to an independent contractor.

    7) Please provide the information which confirms that in each of the above-mentioned categories, auditors responsible to the Office of the Auditor-General, have double-checked that a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ has been created and maintained.

    Please provide the information which confirms that in accordance with normal prudent business practice, Auckland Council has now ‘amalgamated’, created and maintains full and accurate records of any matter which has been contracted out to an independent contractor, including the above-mentioned Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organistions’ (CCOs); Council organisations and ‘statutory entities’.

    As mentioned at the beginning of this letter, this information does not yet exist and your request is therefore refused under section 17 (e) of the Act.

    17. Refusal of requests

    A refusal made in accordance with section 10 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the following reasons, namely:

    (e) That the document alleged to contain the information requested does not exist or cannot be found.

    6) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time the each of the following Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organistions’ (CCOs); Council organisations and ‘statutory entities’ has been operating, there has been created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ established for for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

    a) Auckland Council Investments (ACIC)
    b) Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (TEED)
    c) Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA)
    d) Auckland Council Property Ltd (ACPL)
    e) Auckland Waterfront Development Agency (AWDA)
    f) Watercare Services Ltd
    g) Auckland Transport

    The information, to the extent it may exist, is not held by the Auckland Council and your request has been transferred to the organisations listed above. A copy of our letter of transfer is attached for your information.

    9) Please provide the name and position of the Auckland Council employee who is ultimately responsible for the creation and maintenance of records of any matter which is contracted out to an independent contractor, as defined in s17 of the Public Records Act 2001, and would bear ultimate responsibility for any of the following offences:

    61 Offences
    Every person commits an offence who wilfully or negligently—
    (a) damages a public record; or
    (b) disposes of or destroys a public record otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act; or
    (c) contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any regulations made under it.

    The Auckland Council has a corporate responsibility to comply with the Public Records Act 2005.

    You have the right in accordance with section 27(3) of the LGOIMA to make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman regarding council’s refusal to release any information under this letter and for the delay in getting this response to you.

    If you have any further queries please contact me on
    (09) 301 0101 , quoting Official Information Request No. 90000108231

    Yours sincerely

    pp (? not legible)

    Bruce Thomas
    Public Information Manager
    Democracy Services

  46. Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:28 am Blog Blight says: “it’s ok ‘Manolo’. We’re used to you and accept you for what you are. Kind regards, Penny Bright”:

    Well, Penny, must admit that its not so easy as far as you’re concerned – you’re on a mission to a planet no-one knows and this mission seems hell bent on exposing conspiracy theories that only a very few within your lunatic fringe can decipher.

    The good news for us on planet Earth is that the election is only 2 sleeps away.

    EEEK!

  47. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:56 am # Elaycee (195) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Blog Blight says: “it’s ok ‘Manolo’. We’re used to you and accept you for what you are. Kind regards, Penny Bright”:

    Well, Penny, must admit that its not so easy as far as you’re concerned – you’re on a mission to a planet no-one knows and this mission seems hell bent on exposing conspiracy theories that only a very few within your lunatic fringe can decipher.

    The good news for us on planet Earth is that the election is only 2 sleeps away.

    EEEK!”
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    errr….. what is ‘conspiratorial’ about an Official Information REPLY from Auckland Council, consistently GORMLESS
    ‘Elaycee’?

    hmmm…. I think you are going to end up in a form of ‘Kiwiblog solitary confinement’ yourself dear, as others, (albeit belatedly) eventually realise that my concerns have a sound evidential basis?

    Hopefully we’ll all hear soon a LOUD ‘popping’ noise from your ‘end’ (as it were? ;)

    Kind regards dear.

    You have a LOVELY day :)

    Penny Bright
    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

  48. reid (7,386) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 12:11 pm Penny what precisely does this establish, in anyway? What sinister secret is lurking beneath this “evidence?”
  49. publicwatchdog (635) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    reid (7,386) Says:
    May 25th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Penny what precisely does this establish, in anyway? What sinister secret is lurking beneath this “evidence?”
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    errr….’reid’ – have you been using some of ‘Elaycee’s THICK pills?

    If ‘full and accurate’ records of contracts are NOT being kept – then how can either Council staff or elected representatives, thoroughly, on a ‘line-by-line’ accounting basis – check EXACTLY where resident’s and ratepayers’ monies are been spent, in order to look at where costs can be cut back, in order to prevent rate increases?

    I you can’t get THAT – then I don’t know that there is much more I can do to help explain the situation?

    I’ve done what I can.

    You stated:

    “..you haven’t explained the nature of the problem. Nor have you explained precisely why, in factual terms, this is a sinister issue. You’ve said that in your opinion it is, but you haven’t given any facts to back that up.”

    Ok – well now I have.

    And I’m also EXTREMELY busy.

    So – can I respectfully suggest that you take your time and SLOWLY and CAREFULLY read (again?) the information which I have provided, as you requested.

    Hopefully then – you will ‘get it’?

    Kind regards

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Stop the $uper City, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

Howick by-election candidate Penny Bright makes historic first complaint to Chief Archivist about Auckland Council’s alleged failure to maintain full and accurate ‘contracting’ records.

23 May 2011

Howick by-election candidate Penny Bright makes historic first complaint to Chief Archivist about Auckland Council’s alleged failure to maintain full and accurate ‘contracting’ records.

“Today, Monday 23 May 2011,  I arrived at the Office of the National Archives with evidence which, in my considered opinion, proves that ‘contracting’ at Auckland Council is effectively  ‘out-of-control’,”  says Howick by-election candidate Penny Bright.

“I made a formal written complaint to the Chief Archivist, about an alleged breach, by Auckland Council, of
s 61 (c) of the Public Records Act 2005, because the Auckland Council

(c) contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any regulations made under it.

(This alleged  failure to comply attaches to s 17 (1) of the Public Records Act 2005:

‘Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its offices in accordance with normal prudent business practice, including the records of any matter which is contracted out to an independent contractor.’ ) “

“The evidence to support this complaint, included the following items of correspondence:

1) 10 March 2011: ‘Open Letter/ Local Government and Official Information Act (LGOIMA) request to the CEO of Auckland Council.

2) 26 April 2011: Reply from Bruce Thomas ‘Public Information Manager’ Auckland Council, including copies of transfers for information to the 7 Auckland Council CCO’s (and Council Organisation).

3) 16 May 2011: LGOIMA reply from the Regional Facilities Auckland CCO.

4) 11 March 2011” Acknowledgment by Ministerial Secretary Jess Van Harlem (Office of Minister of Local Government Rodney Hide) of my originating ‘Open Letter/LGOIMA request of 10 March 2011.
___________________________________________________

“I will be formally advising the Governing Body of the Auckland Council of this development, at their meeting tomorrow, Tuesday 24 May  2011  at the former Manukau Council Chamber  at 10am.

My proposed subject matter also includes:

1) Given that the Auckland Council will soon be finalising decisions on the proposed Auckland Council 4.9% rate increase, I wish to bring to your collective attention, some urgent matters regarding potential savings of residents and ratepayers monies.

2) Confirmation that Auckland Council ‘books’ are NOT open, and the spending on consultants and contractors appears to be ‘out of control’.

(So – how can the Auckland Council even consider ANY rate increase – if a ‘line-by-line accounting exercise cannot be gone through to clearly identify where a ‘scalpel’ could be vigorously applied to private consultant and contractor ‘blubber’?)

3) Developments with the ‘postcard’ campaign to Prime Minister John Key, where residents and ratepayers of the Auckland Council, have signed pledges to ‘consider not paying this proposed 4.9% rate increase’. ”
____________________________________________________

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

1) 10 March 2011: ‘Open Letter/ Local Government and Official Information Act (LGOIMA) request to the CEO of Auckland Council.

Auckland Council CEO
Doug McKay

‘Open Letter /LGOIMA request’
re: Statutory duties arising from s.17 (1) of the Public Records Act 2005:

“Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its offices in accordance with normal prudent business practice, including the records of any matter which is contracted out to an independent contractor”.

Dear Doug,

Please provide the following information:

1) The information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, each of the following local authorities had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor:

(Independent contractor to include ‘consultant’ contractors.)

a) Auckland Regional Council (ARC)
b) Auckland City Council
c) Manukau City Council
d) Waitakere City Council
e) North Shore City Council
f) Rodney District Council
g) Papakura District Council
h) Franklin District Council

2) Please provide the information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, how many Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) operated under each of the following local authorities:

a) Auckland Regional Council (ARC)
b) Auckland City Council
c) Manukau City Council
d) Waitakere City Council
e) North Shore City Council
f) Rodney District Council
g) Papakura District Council
h) Franklin District Council

3) Please provide the information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, that each ‘Council Controlled Organisation’ (CCO) operating under each of the above-mentioned local authorities had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

4) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time that the Auckland Transition Agency (A.T.A.) was operating, that they had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

5) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time the Auckland Council has been operating, there has been created and maintained a (central)  ‘Register of Contracts’ established for for any matter which has been contracted out to an independent contractor.

6) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time the each of the following Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organistions’ (CCOs); Council organisations and ‘statutory entities’ has been operating, there has been created and maintained a (central)  ‘Register of Contracts’ established for for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

a) Auckland Council Investments (ACIC)
b) Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (TEED)
c) Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA)
d) Auckland Council Property Ltd (ACPL)
e) Auckland Waterfront Development Agency (AWDA)
f) Watercare Services Ltd
g) Auckland Transport

7) Please provide the information which confirms that in each of the above-mentioned categories, auditors responsible to the Office of the Auditor-General, have double-checked that a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ has been created and maintained.

8) Please provide the information which confirms that in accordance with normal prudent business practice, Auckland Council has now ‘amalgamated’, created and maintains full and accurate  records of any matter which has been contracted out to an independent contractor, including the above-mentioned Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organistions’ (CCOs); Council organisations and ‘statutory entities’.

9) Please provide the name and position of the Auckland Council employee who is ultimately responsible for the creation and maintenance of records of any matter which is contracted out to an independent contractor, as defined in s17 of the Public Records Act 2001, and would bear ultimate responsibility for any of the following offences:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345796.html?search=ts_act_Public+Records+Act+2005_resel&p=1#DLM345796
61 Offences
Every person commits an offence who wilfully or negligently—
(a) damages a public record; or
(b) disposes of or destroys a public record otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act; or
(c) contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any regulations made under it.


Yours sincerely,

Penny Bright

Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.

“Anti-corruption campaigner”.

Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.
Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.
Independent Candidate Howick by-election 2011
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127

___________________________________________________

2) 26 April 2011: Reply from Bruce Thomas ‘Public Information Manager’ Auckland Council

(Official Information Request No. 9000108231)

26 April 2011

Dear Ms Bright

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987
Re: requests for evidence of record

I refer to your email dated 10 March 2011, which we received
on 11 March 2011, requesting information about records relating to independent contractors.

As a general comment, we note that section 17(1) of the Public records Act 2005 to which you refer does not establish an obligation to create and maintain a register of contracts and nor is there any other statutory obligation to do so.  Nonetheless, the Council is currently in the process of developing such a register.  Even once it is established, the information contained in the register is unlikely to be disclosed on the grounds that to do so would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information.  Of course, any requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please note that Council Controlled Organisations are independent entities separate from the Auckland Council.
They have their own obligations to respond to requests under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

Regarding your request, we have responded to your questions in the order in which they were raised.

1) The information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, each of the following local authorities had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor:

a) Auckland Regional Council (ARC)
b) Auckland City Council
c) Manukau City Council
d) Waitakere City Council
e) North Shore City Council
f) Rodney District Council
g) Papakura District Council
h) Franklin District Council

2) Please provide the information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, how many Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) operated under each of the following local authorities:

a) Auckland Regional Council (ARC)
b) Auckland City Council
c) Manukau City Council
d) Waitakere City Council
e) North Shore City Council
f) Rodney District Council
g) Papakura District Council
h) Franklin District Council

Your request is refused under section 17(f) of the Act on the basis that the information requested, to the extent it may exist or be held by the Auckland Council, cannot be made available without substantial collation or research.

17. Refusal of requests

A request made in accordance with section 10 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the following reasons, namely:

(f)      That the information requested cannot be made
available without substantial collation or research.

3) Please provide the information which confirms that prior to amalgamation under the Auckland Council, that each ‘Council Controlled Organisation’ (CCO) operating under each of the above-mentioned local authorities had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

4) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time that the Auckland Transition Agency (A.T.A.) was operating, that they had created and maintained a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

Your request is refused under section 17(g)(i) of the Act on the basis that the information requested is not held by the local authority and we have no grounds for believing that the information is held by another organisation.  Alternatively, your request is refused under section 17(f) on the basis cannot be made available without substantial research.

17.  Refusal of requests.

A request made in accordance with section 10 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the following reasons, namely:

(g) That the information requested is not held by the local authority and the person dealing with the request has no grounds for believing that the information is either-

(i) Held by another local authority or a Department or Minister of the Crown or organisation;

5) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time the Auckland Council has been operating, there has been created and maintained a (central)  ‘Register of Contracts’ established for for any matter which has been contracted out to an independent contractor.

7) Please provide the information which confirms that in each of the above-mentioned categories, auditors responsible to the Office of the Auditor-General, have double-checked that a (central) ‘Register of Contracts’ has been created and maintained.

8) Please provide the information which confirms that in accordance with normal prudent business practice, Auckland Council has now ‘amalgamated’, created and maintains full and accurate  records of any matter which has been contracted out to an independent contractor, including the above-mentioned Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organistions’ (CCOs); Council organisations and ‘statutory entities’.

As mentioned at the beginning of this letter, this information does not yet exist and your request is therefore refused under section 17 (e) of the Act.

17. Refusal of requests

A refusal made in accordance with section 10 of this Act may be refused only for one or more of the following reasons, namely:

(e)   That the document alleged to contain the information requested does not exist or cannot be found.

6) Please provide the information which confirms that for the time the each of the following Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organistions’ (CCOs); Council organisations and ‘statutory entities’ has been operating, there has been created and maintained a (central)  ‘Register of Contracts’ established for for any matter which was contracted out to an independent contractor.

a) Auckland Council Investments (ACIC)
b) Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (TEED)
c) Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA)
d) Auckland Council Property Ltd (ACPL)
e) Auckland Waterfront Development Agency (AWDA)
f) Watercare Services Ltd
g) Auckland Transport

The information, to the extent it may exist, is not held by the Auckland Council and your request has been transferred to the organisations listed above.  A copy of our letter of transfer is attached for your information.

9) Please provide the name and position of the Auckland Council employee who is ultimately responsible for the creation and maintenance of records of any matter which is contracted out to an independent contractor, as defined in s17 of the Public Records Act 2001, and would bear ultimate responsibility for any of the following offences:

61 Offences

Every person commits an offence who wilfully or negligently—
(a) damages a public record; or
(b) disposes of or destroys a public record otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act; or
(c) contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this Act or any regulations made under it.

The Auckland Council has a corporate responsibility to comply with the Public Records Act 2005.

You have the right in accordance with section 27(3) of the LGOIMA to make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman regarding council’s refusal to release any information under this letter and for the delay in getting this response to you.

If you have any further queries please contact me on
(09) 301 0101, quoting Official Information Request No. 90000108231

Yours sincerely

pp (? not legible)

Bruce Thomas
Public Information Manager
Democracy Services

_____________________________________________

Penny Bright

Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.

“Anti-corruption campaigner”.

Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
Attendee: Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010.
Independent Candidate Botany by-election 2011.
Independent Candidate Howick by-election 2011
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Howick by-election campaign, Stop the $uper City, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

NBR:’Banks puts hand up for Epsom’ and my comment.

www.nbr.co.nz/article/banks-puts-hand-epsom-nn-93451

Banks puts hand up for Epsom

John Banks has ended speculation about his involvement in future ACT Party plans by formally putting his hat in the ring for the party’s Epsom seat nomination.

The 64-year-old former Auckland mayor registered his nomination at ACT’s head office in Newmarket this afternoon.

Don Brash, who rolled Rodney Hide to take over as the party’s leader last month, has been pushing for Mr Banks to take over the seat Mr Hide holds.

Nominations for the seat, which Mr Hide won with 56 percent of the vote for in the 2008 election, close next Tuesday. Mr Banks is the only candidate so far.

Mr Banks, who was a National Party MP from 1981 to 1999, told NZPA he was excited by the prospect of returning to Parliament.

“I was in Parliament house 30 years ago, then I was in the town hall, then I went back to the town hall, and maybe, with the support of the Epsom people, maybe back to Parliament, so it just shows it is a land of opportunity,” he said.

“I’m really rather excited, enthused and motivated.”

Mr Banks said he had been considering a position in ACT for the last three months.

“I wasn’t, in the early stages, breaking my neck to get back to Parliament because I’ve re-established my commercial career and I thought it might be time to move on,” he said.

“But as the country finds itself in deeper and deeper trouble, I felt that I needed to step up to the plate and make a contribution again.

“Don invited me to stand and I’ve had representations by large numbers of local Epsom voters, and the rest is now history.”

The seat has been crucial for ACT since 2005 and may be again in this year’s election if the party remains unable to meet the 5 percent party vote threshold.

Back to NBR homepage

Comments and questions

6

JOHN why did you not stand for national.in epsom,remuera voters ask WHY.

buzz the buzzard | Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 8:49am

Without commenting Banks, can I wish we had a strong ACT candidate in the Tamaki electorate?

Footplate | Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 9:48am

We need a National representative in Epsom, to stop extremist views. We need democratic options in all electorates. John Key stop stalling and put up a candidate.

Karl | Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 10:52am

Banks the Eastern Motorway across the Orakei basin man. Does he think Epsom has forgotten ?

Anonymous | Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 10:53am

So – ‘flip flop’ John Bank$ is now seeking selection as the National “B” Team /ACT) candidate for Epsom.

Wonder what ACT’s democratic ‘due process’ for candidate selection involves?

If it’s anything like the way Don Bra$h became ‘Leader’ of ACT, two hours after he joined the ACT party – it seems that you just have to demonstrate that you have access to significant BIG busine$$ finance (including your own?) – and that’s it?

Corporate style ‘democracy’ – according to the ‘Golden Rule’ – ‘those who have the gold – make the rules?

Seeking public office in order to serve WHOSE interests?

How CONVENIENT that the ‘Leader’ of ACT /National “B” Team, Don Bra$h, and John Bank$ – just happen to be business buddies as well?

Job$ for the boy$?

NO possible ‘conflicts of interest’ there?

Wonder what Mr ‘line-by-line accounting’ / ‘open the books’ John Banks now has to say about the proposed 4.9% Auckland ($upercity) Council residential and commercial rate increase?

(Please be reminded that on 13 December 2010, C&R Auckland Councillors supported a 3.9% rates increase).

Please also be reminded that during the Auckland Council Mayoral campaign, ex-Auckland City Council Mayor John Banks, was a loud and proud $upercity supporter.

I’ve spoken to a number of Epsom voters who knew nothing about the proposed 4.9% Auckland Council rate increase.

Many from the Remuera, Parnell and Newmarket shopping centres, enthusiastically took postcards to send to Prime Minister John Key, pledging ‘to consider not paying this proposed Auckland Council 4.9% rate increase.

The ‘books’ are NOT open.
The use of private contractors – especially consultant contractors is simply out of control.
There is NO ‘line-by-line’ accounting.
The public are being used as a giant CA$H COW all pay – no say.

(I will be giving an update on these developments at the Auckland Council Governing Board meeting on Tuesday 24 May 2011, 10am at the former Manukau City Council building.)

Penny Bright
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Penny Bright | Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 11:06am
In response to Anonymous | Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 10:53am

The growth of Stonefields’ suburb, the mega -expansion of Lunn Avenue, the swelling of the South East……all with nowhere to go but Greenlane, tells you Banks had foresight and balls…….two commodities in epidemic short-supply in National right now.
You’ll live to see the Eastern Corridor/”Greenway”/ whatever they dress it up to be.
And Go Penny, GO. We need action Any action to get the Auckland Council Debating Society to do SOMETHING…..anything other than blather.
By the way, the Local Board charged with that Stonefields-Lunn Avenue debacle is too busy in meetings to even go and see what’s happening…..

B S Bertie | Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 11:23am

May 19, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Stop the $uper City, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

URGENT! ‘Housing New Zealand intends a massive sell-off of Public Housing!’

12 May 2011

Housing New Zealand intends a massive sell-off of Public Housing.

A divestment Expert is being recruited to action the process in Auckland.

(see below *1)

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=374822613

“This crown owned entity owns a vast amount of property assets and they currently require the services of an experienced Divestment Officer to join their Assets team.

Reporting into the Redevelopment and Upgrade Manager this role’s key purpose includes developing plans and strategies in relation to the disposal of assets, including engagement with other social housing partners, Iwi organisations and commercial residential property developers as well as with internal stakeholders.”

A property bonanza is being launched to sell off public property assets held by central government (Housing NZ) and by local government by the newly formed Auckland Council Property Ltd (ACP Ltd)

At the Auckland Council Property Ltd, Board meeting today a list of properties sold, under contract and up for sale was presented.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1.1&thid=12fe1cc1bac85f26&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D18afffb768%26view%3Datt%26th%3D12fe1cc1bac85f26%26attid%3D0.1.1%26disp%3Dattd%26zw&sig=AHIEtbShUlkCzNs00b7g1A-LmIRMkDm-9A
When the Chairman of ACP Ltd Sir John Wells was asked by Lisa Prager after her deputation ” why is a meeting about the disposal of public council owned property being held in a private board room in Queen St?”
Sir John Wells replied ” it is more convenient for me as this is my office.”
Both Ms. Prager and Ms. Bright drew the Board’s attention to their concern about the undisclosed and secret sale of public property assets, underway.
‘Anti-corruption’ campaigner Penny Bright, asked if any of the unelected Board of ACPL appointees and staff responsible for property and procurement, had links with property developers, business associates/investors/ individuals who could take pecuniary advantage of such connections – given that there was no publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’.

“Where is the transparency?”

“We are in a housing crisis – yet  our public property assets held at both Auckland Local Government level (ACPL) and central government level (Housing NZ) appear to being set up for a massive land grab/ asset strip  for private interests,” said Ms Bright.
Ms Prager and Ms Bright are considering laying a complaint  with the Serious Fraud Office and the Police related to ‘Crime against rights of property’
Lisa Prager
Community Activist
 (09) 360 3397
Penny Bright
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
Auckland Mayoral candidate 2010.
Botany by-election candidate 2011
Auckland Council 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
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com
____________________________________________________

*1

Property Divestment Expert

Listing #: 374822613

Location: Auckland City, Auckland
Type: Full time, Permanent
Listed: Sun, 08 May
Your reference #: WG18046
This crown owned entity owns a vast amount of property assets and they currently require the services of an experienced Divestment Officer to join their Assets team. Reporting into the Redevelopment and Upgrade Manager this role’s key purpose includes developing plans and strategies in relation to the disposal of assets, including engagement with other social housing partners, Iwi organisations and commercial residential property developers as well as with internal stakeholders.

The successful candidate will need to have a good balance of both public and private sector property disposals experience. The ability to relate to a wide variety of people and stakeholders will allow you to flourish in this specialised role. Your property skills will include a mixture of valuations, rental agreements, disposals, financial analysis and general property negotiations.

Your ideal background would include a mixture of property expertise gained from a local or regional council, government department, power/utility company or property consultancy. A relevant tertiary qualification in business, property or legal combined with an understanding of the social housing sector will give you the grounding to work across multiple projects.

For further information please contact Mike Westbury on 04 4941523 or apply through the link below.

————————————————————

(Ms Bright spoke directly with Mike Westbury on Wednesday 11 May 2011, where he confirmed that this ‘crown owned entity’, was in fact, Housing New Zealand)

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Howick by-election campaign, Stop the $uper City, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

NBR: ‘Act begins search for Epsom candidate to replace Hide’ + my comment exposing C & R Auckland Councillors supported a 3.9% rate increase on 13 December 2010:

Colin Williscroft | Wednesday May 11, 2011 | 13 comments

Act begins search for Epsom candidate to replace Hide

Rodney Hide.

Rodney Hide.

Nominations are open for an Act candidate to replace Rodney Hide and contest the Epsom electorate in the November 26 election.

“Act has always had a strong presence in Epsom – from 1996, when the party won 22% of the party vote, to the present day,” Auckland South board member Barbara Steinijans said.

“In Rodney Hide the people of Epsom have had strong local representation for the past six years. Once again, Act will be running a strong electorate vote based campaign.”

The incumbent MP, Mr Hide, does not have the support of new party leader Don Brash, although Mr Hide is yet to formally rule himself out from standing in the seat.

Mr Hide won 56% of the vote in the 2008 election, although National won 63% of the party vote.

Nominations close at 5pm on May 24.

__________________________________________________________________

MY COMMENT:

John Banks was a loud and proud ‘$upercity’ supporter from Day One.

But – the first thing the $upercity -$uper RIP OFF Auckland Council wants to do is to put up residential and commercial rates 4.9%.

So much for the ‘economies of scale’ that were to be achieved by forcibly amalgamating our 8 former Councils, in another ‘Rogernomic$ blitzkrieg’ (without a binding poll of citizens and ratepayers).

For those who just want to jump on the band wagon and blame Mayor Len Brown and the ‘left-leaning’ majority on the Auckland Council – here are the FACTS:

C&R Councillors on 13 December 2010 voted in support of a 3.9% rates increase.

(You will note that young National Party ‘Wonder boy’ (?) Jami-Lee Ross supported a 3.9% rate increase? )

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/AboutCouncil/meetings_agendas/committees/Pages/strategyandfinancecommittee.aspx

Auckland Council Finance and Strategy Committee meeting 13 December 2010 (Pgs 7-8)

12. Annual Plan 2011/2012 – High Level Budget Review

(c) That the Strategy and Finance Committee agrees a rates target of 4.9% for 2011 -2012 to inform the Mayor’s development of the draft annual plan.

MOVED by Councillor Wood seconded Councillor Fletcher

That a rates increase of not more than 3.9% be struck and officers work to identify further savings.

A division was called for, voting on which was as follows:

For

Councillors

Cameron Brewer
Hon Chris Fletcher
Des Morrison
Callum Penrose
Noelene Raffills
Jami-Lee Ross
Sharon Stewart
George Wood

Against

Councillors

Anae Arthur Anae
Len Brown
Dr Cathy Casey
Sandra Coney
Alf Filipaina
Ann Hartley
Penny Hulse
Richard Northey
Sir John Walker
Wayne Walker
Penny Webster

Councillors Michael Goudie and Mike Lee were absent.

The division was declared lost 8 votes to 11
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Auckland Council ‘books’ are NOT open.

If a giant scalpel were to be applied to all that consultant and private contractor BLUBBER, and core council services returned to ‘in-house’ provision (cutting out all these private ‘piggies-in-the-middle’), in my considered opinion, rates could be slashed by hundreds of millions of dollars.

That’s why I’m standing in the Howick by-election.
To help achieve that.

‘OPEN THE BOOKS! – CUT OUT THE CONTRACTORS!’

PS: If you think replacing the ‘bureaucracy’ with the ‘contractocracy’ is so ‘efficient’ – ask yourself this one simple question.

Over the last 20 years – have YOUR rates gone up or down?

Penny Bright
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Howick by-election campaign, Human rights, Stop the $uper City, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

NBR: ‘Hide sees possibility of returning to parliament’ + my comment:

www.nbr.co.nz/article/hide-sees-possibility-returning-parliament-nn-92598#comment-119570

Former ACT Party leader Rodney Hide isn’t shutting the door on his political career — although the man who rolled him could slam it.

New leader Don Brash doesn’t want Mr Hide to stand for re-election in the Epsom seat, and has indicated he doesn’t want him in Parliament at all.

But Mr Hide said on TV One’s Q&A programme that didn’t mean he was out of politics for good.

“I’ve got until November 26 to be the best that I can be as a minister and as the MP for Epsom. I’m going to do that, I’m not making any hasty decisions,” he said.

“I’m his (Dr Brash’s) best adviser and supporter…you learn a bit as leader of a small party in government, and also I know how hard the job is.”

Mr Hide almost certainly won’t stand in Epsom because Dr Brash wants former Auckland mayor John Banks to contest the seat, but Mr Hide could return to Parliament as a list MP if the party gives him one of the top slots.

He appears to intend trying to persuade Dr Brash to agree to that.

Dr Brash took over the leadership two weeks ago after Mr Hide stood down in the face of caucus pressure from MPs who didn’t believe the party could survive the election without a change.

At the time, Dr Brash wasn’t even a member of ACT and Mr Hide said today the change had been “rather unorthodox”.

He said he stood down because he didn’t think ACT or the Government, which ACT supports through an agreement, could handle the sort of fight that would have ensued if he hadn’t.

“I reconciled myself to that and I worked assiduously to get a smooth transition,” he said.

Dr Brash is hoping ACT can gain up to 15 percent of the party vote in the election, which would give it more than 20 MPs.

But Prime Minister John Key has told The Economist magazine he believes it will appeal to only “a very narrow slice of the voting population”.

Mr Key was interviewed while he was in London for the royal wedding, and The Economist has posted a video on its website.

Mr Key said he didn’t think the change of leadership would mean a great deal.

“ACT has always had an extreme right-wing doctrine as the founding philosophy of that party,” he said.

“It typically had an appeal to quite a narrow audience in New Zealand and, in my view, that will continue.”

Comments and questions

Penny Bright | Monday, May 9, 2011 – 10:40am

“ACT has always had an extreme right-wing doctrine as the founding philosophy of that party,” he said.

“It typically had an appeal to quite a narrow audience in New Zealand and, in my view, that will continue.”

So – how come the policies and personnel of the National and ACT parties are so readily interchangeable?

Isn’t the reality that IN PRACTICE there is very little difference between the policies of National and ACT – when one looks at the legislation which has been passed by this National/ACT Government?

Take the Auckland $upercity.

National PROMISED to ‘consult with Aucklanders once the findings of the Royal Commission were known’.

www.national.org.nz/files/2008/local_government_policy.pdf

National LIED – on ‘shonky’ Prime Minister John Key’s ‘watch’.

Roger Douglas didn’t need to be a ‘Minister’.

The Local Government (Tamaki Makarau Reorganisation) Act 2009 which set up the underpinning Auckland $upercity (corporate takeover) framework was railroaded through Parliament under urgency in another ‘Rogernomic$’ blitzkrieg.

www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2009/0013/latest/DLM2044508.html

Of course – in order to get those extra MPs to make up the numbers needed for a centre-right coalition government – the ‘perception’ deception that somehow National and ACT are politically different creatures, must be maintained.

It is however – just ‘spin’.

The reality is that National and ACT are politically joined at the hip (pocket) – with big busine$$ backing to serve a big busine$$ – pro-privatisation agenda.

I totally agree with Hone Harawira’s analysis in his Sunday Star Times article
“Mana crosses the divide to fight for the marginalised” (Sunday 8 May – Pg 8)

“And while I’m talking about Brash, let me just say that while I ain’t no great fan of Rodney Hide, the way he got shafted was an example of the corporate style of democracy and government that should send a shiver down the spine of every Kiwi.

No reference to the voters, not even any discussion with the membership of Act, just a backroom deal with a bunch of rich boys, and Rodney gets dumped to make way for a 70-year-old whose claim to fame is that he lost a safe National seat back in the 80s, lost an election in 2005, and then lost the leadership of his party in 2006.

Don Brash is polite and pleasant but his political views make Attila the Hun look like a Socialist. ………….”

National and ACT are the pro-corporate “A” team and “B” team.

I agree with Bomber Bradbury – ‘A vote for John is a vote for Don’.

If the Botany by-election results for National (and ACT) are anything to go by – ‘shonky’ John Key’s masterful ‘Mr Popular’ spin-doctored ma$k is slipping.

In my considered opinion – once a ‘corporate raider’ – always a ‘corporate raider’…

NZ voting public – BEWARE!

Penny Bright
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com


May 8, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Howick by-election campaign, Stop the $uper City | Leave a comment

Did YOU know that ALL residents and ratepayers in the Auckland $upercity are facing a proposed 4.9% rate increase?

Auckland ($upercity) Council proposed 4.9% rate$ increase.
How many people living in the Auckland region are aware of the following:

a) The Auckland ($upercity) Council is proposing a 4.9% rates increase?

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/AboutCouncil/PlansPoliciesPublications/annual_plan/Pages/home2.aspx 

b) This Auckland ($upercity) Council proposed 4.9% rates increase covers ALL ratepayers (residential and commercial)?

c) The savings needed by the Auckland Council to prevent this 4.9% proposed rates increase is $62 million?

www.nbr.co.nz/article/auckland-council-plans-49-rate-increase-nk-87132

d) $62 million is exactly the amount spent by the former Auckland City Council, just on  on consultants in 2008?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10512497

e) ‘Submissions’ for the Draft Auckland Council Annual Plan, closed on 1 April 2011?

f) Only 1800 submissions on the ‘Draft Auckland Council Annual Plan’ were received by the Auckland Council?

g) I have intitiated a ‘postcard’ campaign, addressed to:                (No stamp required)

Prime Minister of New Zealand,
John Key
PO Box 18888,
Wellington 6160

“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of Government:..”
[Article 21 (3) Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948]

This new Auckland (Supercity) Council is 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’:

http://www.national.org.nz/files/2008/local_government_policy.pdf

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.

WHO IS IN CHARGE?  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.

NAME:____________________________________________________________

ADDRESS:________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

SIGNED:_____________________________________ DATE:_______________

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

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Having widely distributed these above-mentioned ‘postcards’ to retailers in the Remuera, Newmarket and Parnell shopping centres, I am shocked at how few people are aware of this pending rates increase.

Most people have been VERY appreciative of this effort made to help inform them, and the opportunity they now have to do something about it.

(For those who want to quickly blame Mayor Len Brown and the ‘left-leaning’ Auckland Council, may care to check the voting record of Citizens and Ratepayers and ‘Independent’ Councillors on this proposed rates increase issue?)

Penny Bright
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

____________________________________________________________________________________

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Auckland Council 4.9% Draft Annual Plan proposal.

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/AboutCouncil/PlansPoliciesPublications/annual_plan/Pages/home2.aspx 

‘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.

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www.nbr.co.nz/article/auckland-council-plans-49-rate-increase-nk-87132

NBR 1 March 2011 article

Auckland Council plans 4.9% rate increase

The new Auckland Council is planning a 4.9% overall rate increase to fund $2.5 billion of spending in the year starting July 1 this year.

According to the council’s draft annual plan it is proposing to spend $1.8 billion on providing services for the region and $773 million on capital projects.

To pay for these capital projects Auckland Council will borrow an additional $346 million in 2011/2012.

Mayor Len Brown said that without any intervention, the starting point for the overall rate increase would have been 9.4%.

“This was clearly not acceptable and we have set a maximum of 4.9% with an expectation that efficiency savings will be found.”

The council needs to save $62 million to get to this target.

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$62 million is exactly the amount spent by the former Auckland City Council just on  on consultants in 2008

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10512497

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.

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http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/news.asp?pageID=2145848073&RefID=2141732572

May 6, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Howick by-election campaign, Stop the $uper City | Leave a comment

Where EXACTLY did the $350 million raised by Auckland City Council through ‘Secured Fixed Rate Bonds’ go? asks Lisa Prager.

Ms Lisa Prager

85 Garnet Road

Westmere

Auckland   1022

Dear Ms Prager

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987
Re: Secured Fixed Rate Bonds

 

I refer to your letter dated 27 January 2011, which we received on 28 January 2011, requesting information about Secured Fixed Rate Bonds.

Please note the following response to each question raised:

    1. Please confirm the total amount raised through the Secured Fixed Rate Bond, which closed on 19 March 2010?
    Auckland City Council raised $350 million on 24 March 2010 via a retail bond issue.

2. How much of this Bond offer has been spent?

    All the cash received on the bond issue has been utilised.  Council is a net borrower therefore does not hold significant cash for long periods.

3. What has the money been spent on?

    The use of the bond issue proceeds was outlined on pages 7 and 17 in the investment statement dated 17 February 2010 (attached).
    The use of proceeds was for general financing requirements of the Auckland City Council, including debt retirement and capital expenditure. In addition, Auckland City Council on-lent some of the net proceeds of this bond offer to other existing councils in the Auckland region. I  This was to avoid the need for those councils to undertake their own debt raising, thereby coordinating a borrowing programme across the region.  On-lending to the other councils reflected the announcement by the Auckland Transition Agency that the borrowing and treasury functions of the existing councils would be integrated during the transition to the new Auckland Council.
    Please state in full the amount of the net proceeds of the bond issue which was used for debt retirement by Auckland City Council.
    Please state in full the amount of the net proceeds of the bond issue which was used for capital expenditure by Auckland City Council.
    Please state the amount of the net proceeds of the bond issue which was on-lent to other councils prior to the amalgamation
    Please state the amount of the net proceeds of the bond issue which was not used once amalgamation took place.
    4. Name the companies’, contractors and subcontractors who have received funds from this source?
    Council manages its treasury and cash flow on a council-wide basis.  Specific cash inflows are not tracked to specific cash outflows (apart from tagged funds), therefore council cannot identify individual third parties that would have received the cash from the bond issue.
    Please answer this question properly in the spirt it was put i.e
    It does not seem appropriate, legal or true that an organization of the size  of the Auckland Council can say that  ” Specific cash inflows are not tracked to specific cash outflows” (apart from tagged funds), therefore council cannot identify individual third parties that would have received the cash from the bond issue.
    Under my original OIA I wish this questioned to be answered in full, I also expect question 5 answered in full.
    5. Name the amount received and the projects related to each company?
    Please see response to question 4 above.
    6. Where and when was this information made public?
    Re: Answers 4,5 &6 Please note it was clear that my original questions asked “Where and when” were answers to question 4 and 5 made public. NOT WHERE OR WHEN Was DETAILS OF THE SHARE OFFER MADE PUBLIC! Please answer question 6 as it was asked.
    6.Where and When was information made public about the projects that received funding and the companies involved!
    (THE INFORMATION BELOW IS NOT ANSWERING THE QUESTION) The entire thrust of this OIA is about where funds raised from the bond offer have been spent . NOT on the floating of the offer!
    The information on the retail bond issue was made public on a few occasions these are as follows;

Intention to make a new retail bond issue was announced by NZX on 24 December 2009.

The issue document (Investment Statement) had the details of the bond issue, dated 17 February 2010.

When the bonds were issued, there was an NZX announcement on 24 March 2010.

It was included in the quotation notice for the NZX as per the NZX announcement on 24 March 2010.

Information on council’s retail bond issues are also available on the councils website. HYPERLINK “http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/services/retailbonds/default.asphttp://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/services/retailbonds/default.asp

7. How is information made public about the amount raised and how it is spent?

    Please ee response to question six above.
    8. Will the Mayor Len Brown uphold his election promise to open the books to the public? Clearly this questions inferred ” when and how will this info” be made public” I find the response arrogant and glib. Please answer when will and how will  the mayor make public his election promise to open the books!
    Yes
    9. Will the Mayor Len Brown fulfill his election promise to undertake line-by-line analias of where our public money is going before agreeing to a rate rise? Again I find your response arrogant and glib.
    Questions 9. inferred “when and how will the mayor fulfill his election promise to undertake line-by-line analysis of where our public money is going before agreeing to a rate rise!
    Yes
    10. What possible reason could the Auckland Council expect to raise the rates when the public has already underwritten or gone Guarantor for a total of $350,000,000?
    Rising inflation, increases to ongoing debt servicing costs,
    Answer 3. suggests that  debt retirement was one use of the bond issue funds, therefore indicate exactly how much debt was retired and how much is still being serviced. What funds where spent on goods and services, what companies received funds/cash/payment from this source. (Not a hard question to answer)
    and any increase in the level of service provided by council or an increase service provide by the council.
    Please details what increase of services has occurred. Please note these two sentences mean exactly the same thing, I am surprised that this sentenced was not edited!
    are the primary drivers for rates increases by council. Any increases to these variables (please detail what variables you mean) will require council to raise rates to meet its day to day obligations. The $350 million proceeds received by Auckland City Council in March 2010 from the retail bond issue has been completely utilised as discussed in question 3 above. (Detail question 3 as requested showing full utilization of the total funds of $350,000,000)

If you have any further queries please contact me on 301 3810, quoting Official Information Request No. 9000107451.

Yours sincerely

Nicole Miell

Information Advisor

Public Information Office

March 4, 2011 Posted by | Botany By-election 2011, Fighting corruption in NZ, Stop the $uper City, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

VOTERS OF BOTANY! It’s ‘people power’ time! Vote proven INDEPENDENT Public Watchdog Penny Bright into the House of Parliament!

Quarter page,  Pg 3 advertisement in both Howick and Botany Times (2 March 2011)  and Howick and Pakuranga Times (3 March 2011)!
These free Times community newspapers cover the entire Botany electorate plus more.

This is the wording – (can’t access the ad on-line unfortunately – just asked.)

Irrespective of the result of the election (5 March 2011) – I will have achieved my main aim of shining a public spotlight on the issues of privatisation and corruption.

Becoming the first MP elected as a ‘Public Watchdog’ to act from INSIDE the House will be a HUGE bonus!

Here’s hoping that history will be made by the people of Botany!

______________________________________________________________________________________

(The photo used was taken from the photo used in the Howick and Botany Times article 10 February 2011)

“I’m public’s watchdog” says Bright.

( Advertisement – layout doesn’t match ad – but this is the wording!)

_________________________________________________________________

VOTERS OF BOTANY!

It’s ‘people power’ time!

It’s time for a fiercely independent ‘Public Watchdog with a  proven track record of defending the public  interest INSIDE  the House of Parliament.

Someone with the guts to ask the hard questions!

Eg:  To whom exactly is NZ in debt? Open the books!

Where exactly is our public money being spent?

How much public money is going to greedy corporate welfare beneficiaries?

How much public money is being spent on the ‘contractocracy’

vs the ‘bureaucracy’?

(ie: Private ‘piggy in the middle’ contractors

vs  ‘in-house’ central & local govt employees?)

Who else is holding MPs and the Government accountable?

Where’s the ‘transparency’?

NZ is ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world – but our MP’s don’t even have a ‘Code of Conduct’!

Why aren’t the public given the name of the contractors; the scope, term and value of billion$ of private sector contracts at local and central government level?

Why is there no ‘Register of Interests’ for local government elected representatives and staff responsible for  property and procurement’?

Who decides who gets the contracts?  ($$$???)

Why has there never been any ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of the ‘commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE ‘Rogernomics’ model – that this National/Act Government wants to extend?

Who has, and will benefit from future privatisation and asset sales?

The public?

How will the ‘Mums and Dads’ who can’t afford to pay their power bills, going to afford to invest in the power companies?

How do ‘vested interests’ get there way at the policy level  – before legislation is passed?

Have we got endemic  ‘State capture’ in NZ?

Who is benefiting from the  Auckland $upercity?

The public or multinational contractors?

Please – give me a chance to act as a public watchdog from inside Parliament!

For more information:  https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz www.stopprivatisation.org.nz

Authorised by Penny Bright 86A School Rd, Kingsland.   waterpressure@gmail.com

March 3, 2011 Posted by | Botany By-election 2011, Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting water privatisation in NZ, Stop the $uper City, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment