November 29, 2017

Council again trying to block public from having say

Auckland Council is at it again. Last week, Auckland Councillors voted to prevent ratepayers and members of the public giving their views to councillors at public hearings on the Council’s proposed Long-Term Plan (also known as the ten-year budget).

Councillors were hoping that the Mayor's plan to exclude the public went unnoticed.

Councillors Greg Sayers and Daniel Newman put forward an amendment to the Mayor’s proposed consultation plan. The amendment would have allowed the public to submit on the ten-year budget at public hearings — as every other council allows for, and occurred in Auckland under Len Brown.

The Council voted the amendment down, by ten votes to nine.

You can read our public comments on the vote here.

This isn't the first time Phil Goff has tried to block ratepayers from having their say. In March we exposed the Council for blocking ratepayers (including your humble Ratepayers' Alliance) from giving oral submissions on the Annual Plan. Our efforts back then saw a U-turn, and that is what we need to force on the Council again.

The 10-year budget could lock the Council into its high rate hikes agenda. That's why we need Aucklanders to voice their concerns and stand up for democracy.

If you agree that the public should be able to make oral submissions to councillors click here to send an email to the Councillors.

Tell the councillors who voted against public submissions what you think of their attempt to silence the Council's critics.

Click here to send an email to the Councillors now.

Things we'd like to talk to the Council about (if they let us)

Phill Goff was elected on the promise to cut out wasteful Council spending. Clearly, that's just not happening.

A leaked report last month revealed ratepayer money is funding the salaries of 234 in-house spin doctors, costing $45.6 million per year.

We were also in the media on the Council's spending of $1.1 million of our rates on international travel in 20 months. Almost half of which was spent on 62 business-class flights - that's $509,212 or an average of $8,213 per trip. We say there is little reason why ratepayers should be paying for Auckland Council's 7,000 bureaucrats to live the high-life in business class when travelling economy will do. 

Incredibly the Council's CEO, Stephen Town, shut down debate on the issue and blocked debate of a motion put forward at the Council to stop business and premier class travel. Again, this Council just doesn't believe in democracy.

Thank you for your support while we fight for ratepayers.