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Tuesday, 17 June 2008


I find the way the Auckland City Council operates incredible. A lot of kerfuffle and serial five-act dramas to go millimetres towards conclusions that ordinary mortals could reach in nanoseconds.

I received an email recently, for example, inviting me to a workshop, written of course in
polysyllabic, word-heavy ACC spin: 'Please find attached a memo regarding a workshop being held this Thursday 29 May from 5:30pm (6pm start) for community boards members' input into the levels of service provided by Auckland City Council. The feedback from board members will help set realistic service-level improvement targets in the asset management plans, which are a key driver in the development of council's LTCCP (Long-term Council Community Plan).'

That arrived on Monday the 26th of May. Three days' notice, which shows how much they really wanted the feedback.

And we all know that such meetings are nothing but words. Look at the results, the ACC's long-term plans. The one for 2006-2016 is 474 pages (335 more than its predecessor), strong on top-spin; and projected islands' expenditure must be plucked out of thin air because actual figures are many tens of millions more.

But don't they know what 'realistic' (i.e., good) service is? Why go to all that expensive palaver to find out what they should know, and could easily find out by going out and talking directly to lots of real live people.