The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

Auckland Action Against Poverty is organising a picket this week – Friday 22 July 5.30pm, Heritage Hotel, 35 Hobson St, Auckland

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND NEWSLETTER No. 383, July 20, 2011

Friday 22 July 5.30pm, Heritage Hotel, 35 Hobson St, Auckland
Auckland Action Against Poverty is organising a picket this week: The right wing Maxim Institute is hosting a dinner that night at 6pm at which UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, will be the guest speaker. Mr Smith is a prime mover behind welfare reforms in the UK which are causing increasing destitution and even suicide among claimants, particularly people who are being pushed off the invalids benefit. He is also presiding over ever increasing privatisation of welfare and employment , including forced work for dole schemes in the private sector. His reforms are the model for much of our National Government’s Rebstock Report, currently under consideration by a high powered Ministerial group. AAAP is organising this picket because we: • Seek to stand in solidarity with welfare claimants in the UK who are suffering hugely as a result of what Mr Smith is inflicting on them there. • Want to draw attention to the links between the UK reforms and the National Government’s approach to welfare. It would be great if you and other members of your group could join us next Friday. If you are able to get this information out to other people in your organisation and any associated networks, that would be really helpful as well. For more information, please feel free to email me at bradford.sue73 or Karen at karendavis700. With thanks for any support you can give – best wishes, Sue Bradford, Auckland Action Against Poverty. See: Visiting UK Welfare Minister to Face Picket http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1107/S00131/visiting-uk-welfare-minister-to-face-picket.htm

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July 20, 2011 Posted by | Human rights, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

NBR: ‘Lobbyist explains his swipe card into Parliament’ + my comments

www.nbr.co.nz/article/lobbyist-explains-his-swipe-card-parliament-ck-95247#comment-141621

(14 June 2011)

Lobbyist explains his swipe card into Parliament

Cynics might think corporate lobbyists have easy access to MPs.

In fact, it’s automated.

An item on 3News last night showed veteran lobbyist Mark Unsworth, of Saunders Unsworth using a swipe card to enter parliament.

Mr Unsworth’s clients include Sky City, the 50% Telecom-owned Southern Cross Cable, and multinational pharmaceutical companies.

3News reporter Patrick Gower subsequently told Without a Word of a Lie that “about eight” other lobbyists have been issued with their own swipe cards. Speaker Lockwood Smith refuses to confirm their identity.

Mr Unsworth, who was unlucky enough to be the one of the eight who got his mug plastered over TV, gamely fronted up to Without a Word of a Lie.

“I got the card about 15 years ago, and through the good will of both Labour and National Speakers I have kept it,” the lobbyiist said.

“It’s like getting an Internet connection. It enables you but doesn’t guarantee you get access to the facts or the source of knowledge.”

Greens draft lobbyist bill Last night, the Green Party said it had drafted a bill seeking to let the public know who is lobbying MPs. Green MP Sue Kedgley’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill would set up a register and a code of conduct for lobbyists.

The bill was modelled on a Canadian public disclosure regime.

“Lobbying is entrenched in our political system, but lobbyists are able to operate in secret and under the radar, in the shadows of the democratic process,” Ms Kedgley said.

“The public has no way of knowing who is lobbying their politicians or what they are being lobbied about. There is also no information available on which lobbyists have special access to Parliament granted to them by the Speaker.

“We believe the public has a right to know who is engaged in lobbying activities that seek to influence public policy.” Australia, Canada, and the United States have lobbyist registers. Ms Kedgley said the secrecy surrounding lobbying activities fuelled the perception that Government decisions were being unfairly influenced, undermining public trust in the integrity of democracy.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the bill was part of the party’s wider drive for more transparent Government.

“Real democracy should be a battle of ideas, not a battle of who has the best and most expensive lobbyists. The time has come for lobbyists to step into the light”

“I hope Parliament will have the courage to set up a register, and put public interest ahead of vested interests who may oppose this Bill.”

The bill will be put into a ballot with other member’s bills, waiting to be drawn in Parliament — a process that can take years. Once it is drawn member’s often bills often fail at the first reading unless supported by other parties.

______________________________________________________________

Comments and questions 7

Are you sure it is the Greens promoting this? It can’t possibly be – sounds like something sensible. TOM |

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 9:46am

reply

I wonder if this might trip up Labour and their good buddy Owen Glenn by inadvertently exposing his interest in Labour? One wonders where he might fit into the Labour line-up after the election? openingmouthtochangefeet |

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:24am

reply

By lobbiest I hope the parties on the left have included unions and the likes of forest and bird and greenpeace in their definition of lobbiest? Off Line |

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:34am

reply

In response to Off Line | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:34am Spot on! Footplate |

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:52am

reply

“Green MP Sue Kedgley’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill would set up a register and a code of conduct for lobbyists. The bill was modelled on a Canadian public disclosure regime.

“Lobbying is entrenched in our political system, but lobbyists are able to operate in secret and under the radar, in the shadows of the democratic process,” Ms Kedgley said.

“The public has no way of knowing who is lobbying their politicians or what they are being lobbied about. There is also no information available on which lobbyists have special access to Parliament granted to them by the Speaker.

“We believe the public has a right to know who is engaged in lobbying activities that seek to influence public policy.”

__________________________________

MY COMMENT:

Absolutely agree.

Hope Sue Kedgley’s ‘ Lobbying Disclosure Bill’ gets pulled out of the ballot box SOON!

“WHO IS MEETING THE MINISTER – ON WHOSE BEHALF – SERVING WHOSE INTEREST$?”

Not only does NZ have no statutory requirement for a ‘Register of Lobbyists’ or ‘Code of Conduct for Lobbyists’ – unlike most Australian States and Commonwealth Governments, to make matters worse – New Zealand MPs, (and Judges) have no enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ either.

So – how is it that NZ is ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark and Singapore according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index’) – when we lack transparency and accountability in such critical areas?

A COMPARISON WITH ‘AUSSIE RULES’ :

For a bit more background reading, of a summary of codes of conduct in Australian parliament, including a comparison with NZ –

www.aph.gov.au/Library/pubs/BN/pol/CodesOfConduct.htm

Penny Bright https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009

Attendee: Transparency International 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010

| Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 12:53pm

reply ”

By lobbiest I hope the parties on the left have included unions and the likes of forest and bird and greenpeace in their definition of lobbiest?

Off Line | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 10:34am ”

__________________________________

No – don’t think you will find Unions or ‘association or organisation constituted to represent the interests of its members’ defined as ‘lobbyists’.

“Lobbyist” means a person, body corporate, unincorporated association, partnership or firm whose business includes being contracted or engaged to represent the interests of a third party to a Government Representative.’

_________________________________

WEST AUSTRALIA STATE GOVERNMENT:

secure.dpc.wa.gov.au/lobbyistsregister/

“Lobbyist” does not include:

(a) an association or organisation constituted to represent the interests of its members; (b) a religious or charitable organisation; or

(c) an entity or person whose business is a recognised technical or professional occupation which, as part of the services provided to third parties in the course of that occupation, represents the views of the third party who has engaged it to provide their technical or professional services.”

________________________________

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: WEST AUSTRALIA STATE GOVERNMENT: secure.dpc.wa.gov.au/lobbyistsregister/

Register of Lobbyists

Towards the end of 2006, the Western Australian Government decided to establish a code of conduct for contact between lobbyists and government representatives, including a ‘Register of Lobbyists’.

The purpose of the Register is to provide information to the public, as well as the Government, on who is engaged in lobbying activities with Government and whom lobbyists represent in their dealings with Government.

To find out more about the Register, who needs to register, how to register and the ‘Contact with Lobbyists Code’, or to look at the Register, use the links on the left hand side of this page. Page last revised: 5 October 2010

Contact With Lobbyists Code Preamble

Free and open access to the institutions of government is a vital element of our democracy. Lobbyists can enhance the strength of our democracy by assisting individuals and organisations with advice on public policy processes and facilitating contact with relevant Government Representatives.

In performing this role, there is a public expectation that Lobbyists will be individuals of strong moral calibre who operate according the highest standards of professional conduct.

The Government has established the Contact with Lobbyists Code to ensure that contact between Lobbyists and Government Representatives is conducted in accordance with public expectations of transparency, integrity and honesty.

Application

2.1 The Contact with Lobbyists Code has application through the Codes of Conduct of public sector bodies.

2.2 The Contact with Lobbyists Code creates no obligation for a Government Representative to have contact with a particular Lobbyist or Lobbyists in general.

2.3 The Contact with Lobbyists Code does not serve to restrict contact in situations where the law requires a Government Representative to take account of the views advanced by a person who may be a Lobbyist. Definitions “Lobbyist” means a person, body corporate, unincorporated association, partnership or firm whose business includes being contracted or engaged to represent the interests of a third party to a Government Representative.

________________________________

Penny Bright

waterpressure.wordpress.com

‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009

Attendee: Transparency International 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 2010

Penny Bright | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 – 12:56pm

June 14, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

NBR: ‘Destiny seeks support for govt contracts’ + my comment

www.nbr.co.nz/article/destiny-seeks-support-govt-contracts-ck-94843

Destiny seeks support for govt contracts

“I expected steam to come off” Tau Henare: “I expected steam to come off”

The government will treat any application for Whanau Ora funding from Destiny Church in the same manner as other requests, Prime Minister John Key said today.

Maori politicians including National MP Tau Henare, Labour MP Shane Jones, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira were invited to speak at the church’s annual conference in Auckland on Saturday.

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki indicated the church was interested in government contracts including for Whanau Ora — a Maori Party flagship policy designed to improve efficiency of social services by lessening replication, and improving co-ordination between providers.

The programme focuses on families’ needs as a whole rather than responding only to a specific individual.

About 25 collectives involving 158 health and social service providers have begun to deliver Whanau Ora. Destiny Church has attracted criticism in the past over its controversial stance on homosexuality and claims from former churchgoers that it is a money-making venture.

Mr Key said the church could bid for contracts.

“They’d have to go and bid like anybody else, that’s a matter for those that determine those contracts,” he said. “But from our perspective, they are one of many, many people who have put their name forward for a contract — in the end the officials decide that.”

Dr Sharples said the church ran some good social welfare and education programmes.

He would not commit to backing calls for funding but said he would “certainly listen” to any formal request.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei was not invited to the weekend event. “I’m disappointed he (Bishop Tamaki) didn’t give his people the chance to hear the breadth of political views but the Destiny Church is very intolerant and many of their values are quite at odds from the Greens. We would have had to have talked about that and it would have been uncomfortable for them.

“I’m not sure I would have gone if I’d got an invitation.”

Freaky Mr Henare told reporters this morning it was “freaky” when churchgoers laid their hands on the MPs in prayer during the conference. “I expected steam to come off,” he said.

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MY COMMENT:

“About 25 collectives involving 158 health and social service providers have begun to deliver Whanau Ora.”

How much duplication of resources occurs under the ‘Whanau Ora’ model?

Is this not privatisation of social services – first to the ostensibly ‘not-for-profit’ NGOs – then what???

Isn’t this just the thin end of the privatisation wedge for ‘social services’?

Look at care for the elderly in NZ.

Devolved from the State to the churches – now run for private profit?

Another form of corporate welfare?

Where’s the accountability as far as the contracting-out of these services is concerned?

In my considered opinion – there is little enough ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’ with the spending of public monies on public services , by ‘public’ (government – especially local government) bodies – let alone NGOs. Penny Bright

https://waterpressure.wordpress.com Penny Bright | Tuesday, June 7, 2011 – 5:23pm

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reply >SPAM< Penny Bright | Tuesday, June 7, 2011 – 5:23pm >SPAM< Anonymous | Tuesday, June 7, 2011 –

____________________________________________________________________

8:59pm reply

Getting whanau ora funding sounds like another “piggie snouts in the (government) trough oportunity ” for Destiny and the other organisations of questionable value who line up for it. Would any of them stand up to a full audit and be accountable for every dollar gained.

Doubt it !

Just like the bums on seats payments to language schools and other training establishments who have ripped this country off for zillions.

The NZ government departments are so inept when it comes to spending the tax dollar wisely. Anonymous | Tuesday, June 7, 2011 – 8:58pm

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

‘Madhouse economics with lunatics in charge’ -by Prem Sikka – Professor of accounting at the University of Essex

www.tribunemagazine.co.uk/2011/06/12582/

 

Madhouse economics with lunatics in charge

Where has all the wealth of this country actually gone?

by Prem Sikka
Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Britain’s economic landscape is blighted by economic misery and social exclusion. Nearly 2.5 million people are officially unemployed and 1.5 million are working part-time but would like a full-time job. Youth unemployment is heading towards the one million mark and graduate unemployment is around 20 per cent. Approximately 13.2 million people, including 2.8 million children and 1.8 million pensioners, are living in poverty. Britain’s state pension, as a percentage of average earnings, is the lowest in western Europe. Some 15 per cent of high street shops are empty and the Government’s austerity measures are set to deepen the misery. This is the stark reality of the world’s sixth largest economy and the third largest in Europe. So where does all the wealth go? The answer to this question is crucial because it has a bearing on the possibilities of building a sustainable economy and society.

This country’s gross domestic product has grown from the 1976 figure of £621.22 billion to a current estimate of £1,318.31 billion, but has not been accompanied by equitable share for working people. In 1976, salaries and wages paid to workers accounted for 65.1 per cent of GDP. Following mass privatisations, the demise of skilled jobs in the manufacturing sector and the weakening of trade unions, this declined to 52.6 per cent of GDP in 1996. Following the introduction of the national minimum wage and expansion of the public sector, workers’ share rose. It is now in decline again and stands at 54.8 per cent of GDP. The indications are that, at some companies, the workers’ share of value added is running at less than 50 per cent. Many are facing wage freezes and loss of pension rights. The Government is reviewing employment laws which will inevitably further shrink workers’ share. Of the 200,000 new jobs created in the last year, only 3 per cent are full-time and many do not give employees statutory rights to pension, sick pay or holidays.

All this tells only a partial story, because corporate executives have taken the largest slice of the shrinking share. A recent report by the High Pay Commission shows that, between 1997and 2008 when Labour was in power, income for the top 0.1 per cent of the population grew by 64.2 per cent, while that of an average earner increased by just 7.2 per cent. A typical FTSE 100 executive receives a pay package of £3.7 million – nearly 145 times more than the average worker.

These trends have resulted in 50 per cent of the population owning less than 1 per cent of the national wealth. The Sunday Times 2011 Rich List shows that the 1,000 richest people in the country have amassed wealth of £395.8 billion, an increase of £60.2 billion since 2010. With wealth of £4.2 billion, Sir Philip Green is listed as the 13th richest person. Many of his employees still receive the minimum wage.

The state has not collected a higher share of the GDP in taxes to enable it to redistribute wealth. In 1976-77, taxation took 43 per cent of GDP. By 1995-96, the tax take declined to 37.2 per cent of the GDP, rising to 38.6 per cent in 2007-08 and back to 37.2 per cent in 2010-11. This decline is one of the reasons behind the brutal public expenditure cuts and loss of welfare rights. The state, or the public share, of taxes has declined even though more people are in work, there are more billionaires than ever before and the corporate sector enjoyed, before the recession, record rates of profitability.

Corporations have been the biggest beneficiaries of government policies, as successive governments have shifted taxes away from capital to labour, consumption and savings. Hikes in VAT and National Insurance contributions are a reminder of this major shift in policy. Income tax personal allowances have not kept pace with inflation and more individuals have become liable to higher rates of income tax at middle earnings. For example, the freezing of personal allowances in the 2011 Budget may result in another 750,000 people paying the 40 per cent higher rate of income tax.

Successive governments have been engaged in a race to the bottom and have appeased the corporate lobby by reducing corporate taxes. In 1982, the rate was 52 per cent of taxable profits. By 2007, it declined to 30 per cent. It is set to be further reduced to 23 per cent by 2014 and corporations are demanding even lower taxes.

The supporters of corporations will point to the fact that, in 1979, corporation tax receipts of £4.6 billion accounted for 5.4 per cent of total tax revenues. Last year, they rose to £38.5 billion and accounted for 7 per cent of the total tax revenues. However, this does not tell us the amounts that they should be paying, as corporations and wealthy elites have become very adept at shifting incomes and profits by using opaque structures and schemes to avoid taxes. For example, Boots, the high street chemist, now has its headquarters in Switzerland to enable it to avoid British taxes. Google dominates the internet and its revenues from this county have soared to £6.35 billion over six years, but the company is estimated to have paid only £8 million in corporate tax.
The United Kingdom is the home of a destructive global tax avoidance industry, headed by major accountancy firms: KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche and Ernst & Young. Various economic models suggest that, due to organised tax avoidance, we may be losing around £100 billion tax revenues each year. Inevitably, this has reduced the tax take, increased the national debt and threatened hard-won welfare rights.

The claim is that reducing corporate taxes somehow stimulates investment and creates jobs. Such a thesis is very simplistic and ignores the availability of skilled labour, education, training, infrastructure and disposable income of ordinary people. A recent study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives concluded that: “As a means of stimulating growth, employment and even private business spending, the historical evidence suggests that business tax cuts are both economically ineffective and distributionally regressive.”

The reduction in workers’ share and the state’s share of GDP means that more is available to corporations and their shareholders in dividends. This does not mean that their resources necessarily stimulate the UK economy. According to a government study, individuals in Britain own around 10 per cent of the shares listed on the London Stock Exchange. Investors from outside this country own 42 per cent of the shares listed on the London Stock Exchange and a variety of insurance companies, pension funds, unit trusts and investment trusts. Banks own the other 48 per cent. This means that a vast amount of dividends flow out of Britain and are not subject to UK tax.

A few years ago, Sir Philip Green’s business empire paid a dividend of £1.3 billion. Of this, £1.2 billion was paid to his wife who was resident in Monaco and thus escaped a tax of around £285 million, which would have been payable if she resided in the UK. Many private finance initiative companies use tax havens to avoid taxes on payments made to them by British taxpayers.

The current distribution of income and wealth will not facilitate a sustainable economic recovery. Ordinary people spend money on everyday things such as food, transport and clothing and thus generate a greater multiplier effect compared to the concentration of wealth in relatively fewer hands. Yet the UK trend has been in the wrong direction. There is no evidence to support the contention that feeding fat cats somehow percolates wealth downwards. The obsession with reducing corporate taxes has not been matched by any boom in private sector investment and jobs.

Too many people already make ends meet by borrowing and that was one of the factors behind the banking crisis. Yet the Government has learned nothing from that. Rather than redistributing wealth or pursuing progressive taxation policies, it expects ordinary people to take on even more borrowing to stimulate demand. Personal household debt is already £1.62 trillion, bigger than Britain’s GDP and the largest per capita in Europe. The Government expects it to reach £2.13 trillion by 2015. These are the economics of a madhouse. There is so sign of any sustained attack on organised tax avoidance or broadening of the tax base by considering financial transactions tax, mansion tax, wealth tax, monopolies or land value tax.

Prem Sikka is professor of accounting at the University of Essex

June 3, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

Greens say govt must tender master banking contract with Westpac after Ministers reveal corporate hospitality accepted from the bank

www.interest.co.nz/news/53724/greens-say-govt-must-tender-master-banking-contract-westpac-after-ministers-reveal-corpor

1 June 2011

Greens say govt must tender master banking contract with Westpac after Ministers reveal corporate hospitality accepted from the bank

Posted in News June 1, 2011 – 10:35am, Alex Tarrant
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Gerry Brownlee attended this Bon Jovi concert at the Westpac stadium in December last year as a guest in Westpac’s corporate box.

By Alex Tarrant

The Green Party is calling on the government to put out a competitive tender for its master banking contract after ministers revealed they had accepted corporate hospitality from Westpac in the last year at its Westpac stadium box and at the exclusive White House restaurant in Wellington.

The government’s master banking contract is thought to be the single biggest banking contract in New Zealand. Last year the Green Party asked Finance Minister Bill English why it had not been put out for a full competitive tender since David Lange was Prime Minister, with the pressure leading to English saying the government would commit to a future procurement process for the contract, although it was unclear this meant a tender.

“Given the complexity of banking arrangements for key departments, we are currently consulting with these departments on the timing, nature and scope for this process,” English said in December.

The master banking contract has been Westpac’s for 21 years without being tendered. It covers all government departments, but not Crown entities or State Owned Enterprises.

In December, a spokesman for English told interest.co.nz the contract had not been re-tendered to date because the costs of doing so outweighed the expected benefits, “given the complexity of arrangements with departments and the price reductions negotiated under the existing contract”.

Govt needs to come clean

On Wednesday morning the Greens released a full list of answers to the question of whether Ministers or their staff had accepted corporate hospitality from Wesptac over the last year.

“A series of Green Party written questions has revealed a widespread pattern of treating government ministers and their staff. Nine ministers were found to have accepted corporate hospitality from Westpac Bank in the last year, including box seats at the Rugby 7s, dinner at the White House restaurant [where mains cost NZ$50], and tickets to rock concerts [Gerry Brownlee attended Bon Jovi]. Thirteen ministers had staff who had accepted similar hospitality from Westpac,” Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said. See the White House menu and costs here.

“The Government needs to reconsider the way they regularly accept gifts from large corporates like Westpac. These gifts aren’t neutral; they buy access to decision makers in an unfair way,” Norman said.

“Ministers accepting personal gifts from Westpac creates a potential conflict of interest as the Government is actively considering retendering part, if not all, of the banking master contract. Most New Zealanders can’t afford this kind of access, and hence it corrodes the public’s belief that we are all equal in the eyes of the Government,” he said.

“The fact that so many ministers had staff who also accepted Westpac’s largesse is disquieting, given the central role of ministerial staff in influencing the decisions of their busy Ministers. There’s an important difference between doing business in a friendly way and using money to buy access to power.”

One way to allay concerns over undue influence in Westpac’s case would be to have a competitive tender for the master banking contract, Norman said.

“Westpac’s 20-year monopoly needs to be opened to competitive forces to ensure the taxpayer is getting the best value for money from the Government’s banker,” he said.

“Another way to avoid all suspicion is for the Cabinet Manual to be more explicit about accepting gifts. Ministers and their staff need to accept that they must work to a higher ethical standard when it comes to corporate treating. We need to keep politics honest.”

The list (from the Green Party website)

Transcript of Westpac Questions for Written Answer

Green Party Research Unit, May 2011

Question 1: Has he/she, in his/her capacity as Minister of _______, attended any events in the last 12 months where Westpac New Zealand Ltd provided him/her or any of his/her staff with a corporate box?

Rt Hon John Key: No, I have not attended any events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box. It is my understanding that a number of my staff have, on occasion, accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box. However these are not recorded centrally.

Hon Bill English: I did call in to the Westpac box at the 7s in February…In my capacity as Minister for Infrastructure…it is my understanding that a number of my staff have, on occasion, accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box.

Hon Gerry Brownlee: Yes. It is my understanding that some of my staff have, on occasion, accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box. However these are not recorded centrally.

Hon Simon Power: Yes, I attended the 2010 Wellington Rugby 7s Tournament, hosted by Westpac New Zealand Ltd in a corporate box at Westpac Stadium. In addition, a member of my staff attended a soccer match in a corporate box at Westpac Stadium…, in my capacity as Minister of Commerce, I was invited to attend the 2011 Wellington Sevens Tournament, hosted by Westpac in their corporate box on 5 February 2011.

Hon Tony Ryall: Yes. It is also my understanding that staff have on occasion accepted invites to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box, but these are not recorded centrally.

Hon Steven Joyce: No, I have not attended a Westpac corporate box in the last 12 months. It is my understanding that a number of my staff have, on occasion, accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box. However these are not recorded centrally.

Hon Tim Groser: I have not attended any Westpac corporate box events. I understand that some of my staff have on occasion accepted invitations to corporate box events hosted by Westpac. However, these are not recorded centrally”

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman: I have not attended any events. However, it is my understanding that on occasion my staff have accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box. These are not recorded centrally.

Hon Peter Dunne: It is my understanding that a member of my staff has, on occasion, accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac New Zealand Ltd in a corporate box. However, these are not recorded centrally.

Hon Anne Tolley: I attended a corporate box on the invitation of Westpac New Zealand on 6 February 2011. I have not had any formal meetings with Westpac representatives, but I have met with representatives of Westpac at a number of social events, including in my own electorate. It is my understanding that some of my staff have, on occassion [sic], accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box. However these are not recorded centrally.

Dr Wayne Mapp: Yes. On 19 February 2011 I attended the Blues versus Crusaders Super 15 rugby game at Eden Park.

Hon Rodney Hide: No. However, it is my understanding that a number of my staff have, on occasion, accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box. However, these are not recorded centrally.

Hon Phil Heatley: As far as my diary reflects, and I can recall, I have not been hosted by Westpac in a Corporate Box in the last 12 months. Members of my staff may have, on occasion, accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac. However these are not recorded centrally.

Hon Kate Wilkinson: I have not attended any such events. It is my understanding that a number of my staff have, on occasion, accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box. However these are not recorded centrally.

Hon Maurice Williamson: Yes, but not in any particular portfolio capacity.

Hon Judith Collins: I have attended one event as a guest in a Westpac corporate box in the last 12 months. No staff members have attended.

Hon David Carter: I have not attended any events in the last 12 months where Westpac have provided me with a corporate box. It is my understanding that a number of my staff have, on occasion, accepted invitations to events hosted by Westpac in a corporate box.

Hon Paula Bennett: I can advise the Member that in my capacity as Minister for Social Development and Employment and Minister of Youth Affairs, in the last 12 months I have attended a music concert as a guest of Westpac on the 4 December 2010.

Question 2: Has he/she, in his/her capacity as Minister of ________, met with any representatives of Westpac New Zealand Ltd outside of Parliament in the last 12 months; if so, who, what is their position within the bank, and when and where did they meet?

Rt Hon John Key: I opened a new Westpac Branch in Huapai on 4 December 2009. The Chief Executive Officer George Frazis and other Westpac staff attended that opening.

Hon Bill English: In my role as Minister of Finance I attend and host a large number of public and corporate meetings and events, to both present speeches and to hear from New Zealanders about their views. Therefore, I will have met representatives of Westpac at a number of these such occasions.

Hon Gerry Brownlee: Yes. On 4 December I attended the Bon Jovi concert in Wellington in a Westpac corporate box. George Frazis, the CEO, and a range of Westpac employees were present. Why did I attend? Because, “It’s my Life”.

Hon Simon Power: Yes, I have attended meetings on the following dates: 1 March, 2010, attended dinner with the Westpac Board at the Westin Hotel, Auckland. 23 November, 2010, attended dinner with the Westpac Board at The White House, Wellington…in my capacity as Minister of Commerce, the member will understand that I often attend a significant number of meetings where representatives of Westpac New Zealand are present, along with other industry representatives. It would be difficult to detail all of these meetings, since it may not have been immediately obvious whether Westpac was represented. Having said this, there are a number of meetings where I am aware that representatives of Westpac NZ have been in attendance, amongst others: • Prime Minister’s post-Budget speech, attended by the CEO of Westpac NZ, on 21 May 2010 in Auckland • Lunch with Russell McVeagh and other executives, attended by the General Counsel for Westpac, on 29 July 2010 in Auckland • Meeting with the Financial Markets Authority Establishment Board, of which the General Counsel for Westpac was a member, on 5 August 2010 in Auckland • Corporate Affairs and Regulatory Forum, attended by Head of Government Relations for Westpac, on 9 September 2010 in Auckland • Speech at Insurance and Savings Ombudsman Annual Meeting, attended by the Wealth Advisor for Westpac, on 9 September 2010 in Auckland • Speech at Franchise Association of New Zealand’s Franchise Awards, attended by a senior representative of Westpac, on 13 November 2011 in Auckland • Discussion with stakeholders regarding the review of securities law, which included the General Counsel for Westpac, on 17 March 2011 in Auckland. • Australia/ New Zealand Leadership Forum, attended by CEO of Westpac NZ, on 28 March 2011 in Auckland In addition, on 21 September 2010 I met with the Corporate Counsel for Westpac Banking Corporation in Sydney, Australia. As noted in my response to question for written answer 37069 (2011), I also attended dinner with the Westpac Board in Wellington on 23 November 2010.

Hon Tony Ryall: Yes. I have attended functions in Auckland and Wellington with the Board’s Chair, Board Members and Executives.

Hon Steven Joyce: I attended one social function in Wellington on 23 November 2010 with a number of senior Westpac representatives. It is possible that representatives of Westpac have attended a speech or event I have also attended at another time, but I do not keep a record of every attendee of every event I have been to.

Hon Peter Dunne: In my capacity as Minister of Revenue, I had dinner with the New Zealand Board and Chief Executive Officer of Westpac New Zealand Ltd on 23 November 2010.

Hon Phil Heatley: On Tuesday 5 October 2010 in Sydney, I met with Westpac, as well as other organisations involved in the Bonnyrigg PPP consortium, as part of my visit to investigate Australia’s approach to social housing.

Hon Judith Collins: 30 July 2010: Guest at Westpac Women in Business luncheon. Dickson Room, Canterbury Centre, Christchurch. 19 February 2011: Invited by Westpac to be Guest speaker, International Women’s Day breakfast, Takutai Square, Auckland.

Hon David Carter: On Wednesday 16 June 2010 I visited the Westpac tent at Mystery Creek Fieldays to hear Brendan O’Donovan, Chief Economist, speak; and on Thursday 9 September 2010 I attended a Federated Farmers information meeting at Darfield High School where Ian Blair, General Manager Business Banking, spoke. I may have met other Westpac New Zealand employees causally on other occasions but have no record of this.

Hon Paula Bennett: I can advise the Member that in my capacity as Minister for Social Development and Employment and Minister of Youth Affairs, in the last 12 months…I have met with John Johnston on 2 March 2010 for lunch at the Backbenchers Bar, on 25 November 2010 in my office and I sat next to him at a event on 7 April 2011 of which I was the guest speaker. I also met with a number of Managers from Westpac New Zealand Ltd on 6 May 2011 and we talked about employment opportunities. This is also my response to written parliamentary question 3253 (2011).

June 1, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

NBR: ‘Welfare reform to be made election issue – Key’ (

31 May 2011

www.nbr.co.nz/article/welfare-reform-be-made-election-issue-key-nn-94448#comment-132696

Welfare reform to be made election issue – Key

Prime Minister John Key says proposed reforms of the welfare sector will be rolled out in the lead up to the general election, but changes will mean that if people can work, they must.

The Welfare Working Group’s final report, released in February, gave the Government 43 recommendations to reform the welfare system into a work-focused programme.

Mr Key said the Government had ruled out one of the more radical recommendations, that solo parents look for paid work when their second child turned 14 weeks, saying he was “uneasy” about the short length of time.

The Government had expected to announce a package in response to the group’s recommendations before the election but was pushed aside by the Canterbury earthquake.

He had now asked ministers to look at the group’s recommendations and develop a comprehensive package of welfare reform.

The Government would announce policies in due course and campaign on them.

“It’s important we to signal to New Zealanders that if we are afforded a second term that there will be reform in welfare.”

However, while ruling out the one recommendation he had earlier indicated was unpalatable, he would not go into detail on the remaining 42 recommendations.

Mr Key said it was unacceptable that the proportion of working age population on benefits had increased from 2 percent in 1970 to 13 percent today.

The welfare system should send a clear message that if you could work and support yourself, then you must, he said.

It was not doing enough to send that message, which was not fair on taxpayers, not affordable and not fair on beneficiaries who fell short of their potential, he said.

It was also not fair on the approximately 220,000 children growing up in welfare-dependent households.

Mr Key said the proposals would not mean instant reform of the welfare system but that more workers would be needed as the budget anticipated 170,000 jobs created over next four years.

The welfare group’s February report said the cost of welfare would go from $47 billion to $34b by 2021 if its reforms proceeded — cutting the 360,000 on welfare by 100,000, by putting work obligations on them in exchange for support such as childcare.

It said the Government should set clearer expectations for people on the welfare system to look for paid work, and if recipients do not meet their obligations, they should face gradual reductions of assistance.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett will lead the group of seven ministers going over the recommendations to develop the Government’s policy.

Back to NBR homepage

Comments and questions

4

Where is the Government review of corporate welfare beneficiaries – the numbers of consultants and private contractors employed across all state sectors doing work that used to be carried out by in-house public servants?

Isn’t it time to CUT OUT THE CONTRACTORS?

Penny Bright
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Penny Bright | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 – 10:11am
In response to Penny Bright | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 – 10:11am

Granted that some contractors are likely taking more than the value they’re providing to government (likely all those employed by the previous government). However, lets not confuse these people with the use of outsourced talent, who invariably are more in touch with the real world (because that’s where they derive their livelihood from) than academic bureaucrats who have never had to make a business decision and always got their paychecks just from turning up to their bloated office environments, which regularly achieve … absolutely nothing. Roll on the downsizing of government. Let’s use our taxpayer dollars wisely.

Kevin Pitfield | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 – 10:40am

About time too.

NZ does not need beneficiaries becoming even more dependant on the State for their survival – so I’m pleased to hear National will not be offering election “bribes” and lolly scrambles like Labour have done in the past with their student fees, Family Welfare populist bribes and such like.

Our government should be doing everything possible to encourage people to be able to stand on their own two feet and be accountable for their own actions and situation – and provide a “leg up” to those wanting to better themselves and are prepared to do what ever it takes to educate / better themselves.

Election bribes and “vote for us for free hand-outs” are not only unjust to the individual by encouraging them to be more reliant on the state through apathy and “easy money” but it also denies that individual the opportunity to fully develop their own self ability for increased mana and self esteem, better education and opportunities throughout life.

Shackling entire demographics to more and more hand-outs via election promises is not only costly for us tax payers, but it should also be seen as a form of political corruption by those in “power” preying on the most vulnerable. Wolf in sheep’s clothing comes to mind. Yet it’s far more insidious than that, with the future of entire younger generations at risk because of certain politicians promising “more free money” for nothing instead of encouraging and motivating individuals to achieve a better life for themselves and their dependants through hard work, application and education – not free hand outs.

MooseKnuckle | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 – 10:46am
In response to Kevin Pitfield | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 – 10:40am

Where’s the ‘cost-benefit analysis’ which PROVES that the use of consultants/ private contractors is a more cost-effective use of taxpayer monies than former ‘in-house’ provision’?

Where are the FACTS to back up the MANTRA that ‘public is bad – private is good’?

Where also are the transparent, publicly-available ‘Registers of Interest’, which can be used to double-check for ‘conflicts of interest’ between those who grant and those who receive these public contracts?

Where, (while we’re at it) is the publicly-available ‘Register of Lobbyists’ – so the public can check ‘who’s meeting the Minister’ to push for particular legislative changes?

Where is the publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for those policy analysts who provide the advice for Government Departments/ Cabinet through the mechanism of ‘Regulatory Impact Statements’ – and the like?

With whom are these policy analysts consulting, and what are their connections with whom they are ‘consulting’?

Or is this where the form of grand corruption known as ‘State Capture’ occurs in ‘clean, green New Zealand’ – perceived to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’?

‘State Capture’ being where vested interests ‘get their way’ at the ‘policy’ level – before legislation is passed.

I learned about ‘State Capture’ at the 14thTransparency International Conference which I attended last year).

Penny Bright
https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Penny Bright | Tuesday, May 31, 2011 – 11:43am

May 31, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Transparency in Govt spending | Leave a comment

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