April 09, 2024

Auckland Unlimited blows $450,000 on ASB Classic corporate box access

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance can reveal that Auckland Council’s ‘economic development’ wing, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, blew $450,000 on buying corporate box access to the ASB Classic (Auckland Open) tennis tournament.

Auckland Ratepayers Alliance spokesman Sam Warren said:

“Ratepayers should not be forking out so that councillors and unelected bureaucrats can wine and dine at sporting events.

“Not only was $450,000 of ratepayers money spent on a day in the sun, but an extra $6,163 was spent on food and beverages. Of the 120 visitors, only 30 represented the council, while 90 were stakeholders, customers and partners.

“The justification around this spending, being needed for securing media and broadcasting, is a joke to Aucklanders. An event as successful and established as the ASB Classic already has multiple sponsors. These guests should meeting in an office – not a corporate box.

“Auckland Unlimited needs to remember ratepayers aren't an ATM. If the council wants to encourage economic activity in the city, it would be better off scrapping Auckland Unlimited and it’s $100 million budget entirely to help reduce the rates burden for businesses, along with removing the tangle of red tape that makes it difficult to do anything in the city."


The Council's response to our request for official information is available here: