Wellington Scoop

Candidate discovers “incredible” $15m spending on real time information system

Media release from Anand Kochunny
Regional council candidate Anand Kochunny says it is incredible that the Council has spent $15,129,528 (exclusive of GST) of ratepayer money on the Real Time Information (RTI) system since 2009. “And the system still does not work properly.” says Mr Kochunny, who is a candidate for the Pōneke/Wellington Constituency.

“This information, recently made available to me in response to an LGOIMA request, leads to one simple question ― why has GWRC persisted with this contracted technology provider for 10 years when the RTI system that ratepayers have paid for has been demonstrably defective, as ‘ghost’ bus services show and as so many bus passengers in Wellington might testify?

“And now, GWRC would like to spend even more ratepayer money on a significantly upgraded [RTI] system from 2022, subject to funding. How can GWRC expect ratepayers to be confident that it would not be throwing good money after bad, given GWRC’s experience with the RTI system so far?

“This sorry saga also raises questions about the ability of successive Councils and GWRC Councillors right from 2006 (when GWRC first investigated the feasibility of the RTI system) to date to properly fulfil their function of governance and oversight. With the spectacularly mismanaged ‘busastrophe’ fresh in their mind, how can Wellingtonians have confidence in the competence of GWRC’s sitting Regional Councillors to serve yet another term ― especially the 9 sitting Regional Councillors who are now seeking re-election?

“Wellingtonians should learn from this experience of the RTI (and the busastrophe) and vote in a new set of Regional Councillors in this year’s local body elections:

Councillors who will do what they say, and say what they will do in clear and unambiguous terms;
Councillors who are untainted by the past and do not carry political baggage;
Councillors who will listen to the people who have voted them to office ― instead of becoming cheerleaders for the Council to the people (once they have been safely voted into office);
Councillors who exhibit the courage to fight for their constituents ― instead of simply rubber-stamping the recommendations of GWRC officials;
Councillors who will demonstrate that they can change the organisational culture of GWRC by embedding my 5 Values of a Representative Democracy (Consultation; Collaboration; Transparency; Accountability; Responsibility) into GWRC’s DNA so that Wellingtonians can have a Regional Council that actually listens to them and delivers what they need ― instead of an organisation that breaks a working system and then finds itself unable to fix that which it has broken.

“Clearly, it is time for change ― and the Wellington region needs a new set of Regional Councillors who will listen to the voice of the people, test the advice given by officials by consulting with stakeholders, and hold the Chief Executive of GWRC to account in order to prevent the occurrence of avoidable crises in the future.

“If elected to office as a Regional Councillor ― and if selected as the Chair of the GWRC by my fellow Councillors ― I will make it my mission to change the organisational culture at GWRC as a matter of priority so that subsequent decisions , be it fixing the buses, mass rapid transport, or Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) are rigorous enough to withstand the glare of public scrutiny, robust enough to stand the test of time, and above all, meet the needs of ratepayers without further wasteful expenditure,” said Anand Kochunny.


  1. Barin Das, 3. October 2019, 19:02

    Good investigative work Anand. Keep it up.

  2. Suzie Hooper, 4. October 2019, 9:45

    The headline is taken from the first paragraph, the rest is about solutions. We want solution based politicians not those who found a problem and go to the media about it.

  3. Anand Kochunny, 4. October 2019, 10:49

    Absolutely, Suzie. Here’s a solution: increase transparency on the part of the Regional Councillors, and on the part of the Regional Council. For a fuller explanation, please visit https://www.candidatekochunny.nz/transparency

  4. Concerned Wellingtonian, 4. October 2019, 10:56

    Suzie, try electing five new councillors so that they can get the reports from officers and find the solution.

  5. Anand Kochunny, 4. October 2019, 12:34

    Thanks, Concerned Wellingtonian. Actually, the Wellington region now needs 13 new councillors to change the organisational culture at our Regional Council.

    The tail cannot wag the dog any longer after our busastrophe, and, considering that all 13 Regional Councillors are part of GWRC’s Sustainable Transport Committee, they are collectively responsible for this avoidable debacle.

  6. Hopeful, 9. October 2019, 18:22

    NZ prides itself on its transparent work culture with high accountability. Where is that visible in this fiasco that continues, incredibly, for years! It’s great that these questions are being asked at last, and yes, I agree that the real solution for problems like this lies in changing the culture of the council, with the right people with the right intentions in the right place.