The hubristic Empire has a Rolls-Royce mentality and a waywardness with money that treats the
anguish of ratepayers with contempt. But it has to support its bloated staff of 11,000, and its
out-of-control 'Council-Controlled Organisations.'
Two large instances of waste out of many are easy to give. First the millions Waiheke missed out on
in NZTA subsidies for roads and footpaths, because for years they fell far short of applying for our
full entitlements. Second, the library. We needed a new one, yes, but it did not need to cost $9
million--after 'out of control spending' blew out an already exorbitant $5.4 million budget. A good
building with the same sort of facilities could have been built for a lot less than that $5.4
million, minus the fripperies and the huge waste in the planning stages. There was meeting after
meeting with expensive architects, making plans, plans, plans--which were inappropriate, and were
scrapped. So was the expensive newly-installed sign outside the old complex. The latter was an
example of failure to plan ahead. The Empire is incapable of planning a bunion.
Many small wasteful things add up to large waste. Small ones include the timetables in bus-shelters.
We used to put copies of the same timetables supplied on buses, which show all the bus and ferry
services all over the island, which is what people want to know. That was simple and cheap. But The Empire Over The Water decided to give unique numbers to all the shelters, and then to print numbered, customised timetables for each one, which of course must be reprinted and replaced every time there is a change. But each numbered timetable only shows the services from that stop, not all the services for the whole island. So now people do not get the information they need, but at far greater expense. Then there is manifold overspending on contracts, such as $3800 for four wood-faced steps in a bush track (which to add insult to injury were ill-made). That's about 6 metres of timber and some nails--roughly $30 worth. When I was on the Board I refused to sign it off. But they did it anyway. Rolls-Royce bureaucrats rule.
Auckland is a mess. An overspending mess. It is a overspending mess in its own backyard (look, for
example, at the number of times it has torn up and repaved Queen Street's footpaths). We do not need
that bloated mess in our backyard.
And to the people who have been running full-page advertisements about marine reserves demonising
some candidates. You are ignoring the fact that that would ONLY be done after an island referendum.
It would not be the decision of a few Board members.
Footnote: the 1989 takeover of the islands by Auckland City Council was illegal under the Local
Government Act. In the Act, three things must be true to be a city and a city council. When Auckland
took over the islands it lost two of them. Therefore from then on it was not legally a city. But no
one noticed so it was not challenged. We have the right in natural justice to get back was
unlawfully stolen from us in 1989.