MUST READ: I’ve read the PWC Stadium report and it didn’t take me very long because so many words were redacted from the version I got!

By   /   May 22, 2018  /   11 Comments

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I’ve read the PWC report and it didn’t take me very long because so many words were redacted from the version I got. But in light of a looming regional fuel tax, which hits poorer communities hardest and representing a Ward with the lowest level of home ownership… a stadium in the middle of the city to host a future Commonwealth Games and the odd Abba comeback concert, is the last thing on their minds.

At school I used to enjoy picking up newly printed books that came thru the library. When at university I always looked out for new prints of books were  requested thru the short term loan service. There’s something about the feel and smell of new books that’s always intrigued me.

I can’t say that’s how I felt when I received a flash colour copy of the National stadium and precinct report, commissioned by Regional Facilities Auckland and prepared by PWC. Actually, it was a bit of a waste of time giving me a colour copy of the document because most of it was blacked out pages from the information that had been redacted. Seventy seven pages and a good portion of it missing. Prepared in June 2017, the report was only made available to councillors last week in conjunction with hurriedly prepared briefings in the Mayor’s office. I got an ecopy of the document last Friday and was told by colleagues that a full copy of the report was available, but that had to be read in an office under the watchful eye of staff.

There’s always been a raging debate about Auckland’s facilities and its ability to host big events in the future like the Commonwealth Games or another Rugby World Cup. I understand that there are issues related to how often Eden Park can be used for night events and that’s an important consideration. But below the surface, is the way in which these issues are managed. I’ve always been a believer that people are able to make better decisions when they have full information in front of them. After all, information is power. And given the report cost nearly $1M, information is a money maker too. At roughly $9000 per page, you’d think that as an elected Councillor for the residents of Manukau, I’d at least get my own copy to read. Not so. Like the days of sitting university exams, there had to be an exam supervisor present for this open book assessment.

Frederickson (2005) writes widely on the issue of social equity in public administration. His concern is how to ensure value and voice is given thru public policy for those whose experiences are often excluded from the general discourse. I’ve read the PWC report and it didn’t take me very long because so many words were redacted from the version I got. But in light of a looming regional fuel tax, which hits poorer communities hardest and representing a Ward with the lowest level of home ownership… a stadium in the middle of the city to host a future Commonwealth Games and the odd Abba comeback concert, is the last thing on their minds.

Social equity is about making their experiences central to our thinking, planning and actions. Too often the voices of high-deprivation communities have been missing from the discussion. When they do speak up, they’re often frowned upon because they can’t just accept that what’s being done to them, is good for the region. And therein lies the problem: decisions are being done to them. Auckland has some pretty cool matra’s. World class city. World class universities. World class tourist attractions. These all sound pretty sweet. So now is the time to focus our energies on building a world class commitment. To the vulnerable.

Fa’anana Efeso Collins

Auckland Councillor | Manukau Ward

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11 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    Good comment Efeso Collins, 100%.

    Auckland council and their Mayor resemble another version of the Roman senate and their leader Julius Caesar known by his cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and military general who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire,

    Similarly Auckland Council seem to be as empire builders now too.

    They seem to believe they are doing for the good of all, while using public taxpayer funding to achieve their greatness it appears.

  2. Denny Paoa says:

    Agree there brotha! I’ve attended so many hui/meetings over the past few years with council & their hired consultants who promote these things, oh and they call them Consultation Hui-meetings. Where you get talked at, a lot.
    This style of corporatised arrogant sheep herding is rife in council at all levels. It needs to be weeded out & stopped completely, the Auckland ratepayers cannot afford this extravagance any longer.
    With local board, ward and mayoral elections coming up next year, it could be a good time for a wholesale cleanout from top to bottom!? 170 seats in all.

  3. LOLBAGZ says:

    Silent black borg rectangles are usurping things

  4. Andrewo says:

    Auckland Council is at its debt limit – it cannot borrow more without suffering a debt downgrade. On top of that it has resorted to highway robbery in the form of the regional fuel tax.

    We already have three stadia in Auckland : Mount Eden, Mount Smart and North Shore, so what the hell are these clown smoking when they pay consultants over $900,000 to dream up a plan for a forth stadium?

    Sure, the existing venues may not be ideal but where is the prioritisation in spending? There surely are more deserving places to use ratepayers money.

    • Sam Sam says:

      FFS. More attempted Brainwashing! Cant you just make music & movies without propaganda? Just some movies that are actually funny, news report facts & not feelings & movies dont spew out constant propaganda brain damaging an entire generation?

  5. Andrea says:

    Did they include the bits about how few people actually get to use the stadia?

    Was it remarked that many many people have zero interest in Commonwealth Games or rugby or other commercial events?

    Did they mention the sheer nuisance of getting to and from these places; the impact of parking and drunks, rubbish and noise?

    Could they justify why an entire region has to pay for this toybox for the few – for years to come?

    Did they finally have real true verifiable figures for ‘benefits to the location and city’? And who actually benefits? And then what happens?

    Did they mention how affordable it is to hire this proposed item? Or is it only for those with corporate wealth to fling about?

    And how often will it be used each year? And how much will it cost to keep it clean, graffiti-free, and functioning?

    Or was all that hidden under the black blobs – commercial confidentiality?

    If the rate payers and renters of Auckland are paying for this report – let alone the elephant – it needs to be seen – free of black blobs, before another step is taken. This is referendum material, surely?

  6. WILD KATIPO says:

    Yeah well fuck that too , Efeso Collins…. at what ,… $9000.00 per page ,… and a report costing nearly $1M , and with Seventy seven pages and a good portion of it missing, and some wanker who wouldn’t even allow you to peruse it in your own reflective time and maintained it had to be deliberately read in a busy office full of distractions ?

    Fuck off.

    Just fuck off.

    Who were the wankers who inflicted that on you ?

    What sort of wanky wanking wanker with an agenda drew that deal up ?

    ——————————

    …. ‘ Too often the voices of high-deprivation communities have been missing from the discussion. When they do speak up, they’re often frowned upon because they can’t just accept that what’s being done to them, is good for the region. And therein lies the problem: decisions are being done to them ‘….

    ——————————

    I’m not really in the mood to hear about any more wankers because I’ve just spent the night over at The Standard dealing with them. Far right wing ones. The sort you seem to be dealing with. Its now 12.16 am and I’m feeling pissed.

    And you know what ?… I’m bloody sick and tired of these condescending arseholes speaking over us and telling us whats good for us and whats not.

    I’ve had it up to the back teeth with those types and their lying bullshit.

    I don’t care about their pecuniary gains they hope to get out of it at the expense of others.

    Fuck em.

    Efeso ?… you do whats right by your community and the people in your ward.

    That is the only guiding principle you need to observe.

    All else is B.S.

    And in the years to come?… that will be credited to you. We need people to stand on moral principles and not cave under the temptations of avarice and greed to run this country. That is not leadership, .. but standing up for values, principles and ethics IS leadership.

    And now more than ever before we need courageous people to make a stand.

    And say ‘ Fuck the bullshit’.

  7. Strypey says:

    OMG don’t do it Tamaki Makaurau! I moved to Ōtepoti just after they built their white elephant waterfront stadium, with public money, against massive public opposition. The council went deeply into debt to build the stadium, on the promise that it would pay itself off in no time and become a revenue source. The stadium was mostly built using pre-fab parts imported from overseas, so it didn’t create nearly as many skilled jobs as would have been created refurbishing Carisbrook (the iconic stadium, now demolished).

    In its first few years of operation, the city council owned company that operates that stadium lost millions of dollars every year, and had to be bailed out by the council. I’m not sure it’s ever managed to bring in more revenue than it costs to run, let alone start paying off the interest-bearing debt the council took on to build it. This put such massive pressure on DCC finances they passed a bylaw allowing the City Manager to less of council-managed public assets under a certain $ value, without even having to consult council.

    Worst of all perhaps, the stadium was build on claimed land, right on the harbour waterfront. The sea level rise and extreme weather caused by climate change have hardly even kicked in yet, and storms are already flooding low-lying areas of South Dunedin and the Ōtākau peninsula. Did it really make any sense to build a major piece of public infrastructure, funded by *interest-bearing debt*, only a few metres above sea level? I think not. Just. Say. No.

  8. Strypey says:

    Also, I would like to draw the attention of TDB readers to the Open Government Partnership work being done at central government level, by many public-spirited people in the public service:
    https://www.opengovpartnership.org/countries/new-zealand

    I would really like to see some of these same principles and strategies applied to local government, especially around government transparency (eg open budgets and access to official information).

  9. andy says:

    Whilst my view’s may differ politically from this blog, I am appalled that this is even being considered.

    This council seems to only want to pander to those that can afford to go to an All Blacks test, or a $200 a set concert. I struggle to see whats wrong with going to Eden Park, Mount Smart or Western Springs, and why this needs to be moved to the City Centre?

    There should be more investment on infrastructure to benefit South Auckland. And not white water parks. Grass roots stuff, skate parks, bike tracks, basketball courts, touch programs in summer. Imagine how much could be built across Auckland with only a third of the $1.5b they speak about.

  10. Mjolnir says:

    “I got an ecopy of the document last Friday and was told by colleagues that a full copy of the report was available, but that had to be read in an office under the watchful eye of staff”

    I find that offensive. It was ratepayers’ money that paid for that document. It belongs to us. We have a right to read it and if the mayor’s office believes otherwise, then it’s hightime Phil Goff found a new day-job.

    Your steadfastness on this issue is appreciated, Mr Collins.