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  1. John Locke, 20. April 2020, 9:47

    Great story – indeed, a small walk through the numbers reveals an additional $16.9M spend on the white elephant. One suspects that the council hasn’t thought any of this through. Or even bothered to look at the numbers. For the rest of us suddenly on 80% of our usual salary (or less!), we’d like some rates relief, not rates increases. By my count, there’s a lot of room for a 10% or more decrease in rates. Shame on you city council.

  2. Concerned Wellingtonian, 20. April 2020, 10:28

    How much is in the budget to subsidise the development at Shelly Bay?

  3. TrevorH, 20. April 2020, 14:07

    Over $900,000 annually for “International Relations”? You must be kidding? A slush fund for foreign travel for councillors? Wining and dining “Sister City” delegations? What do we ratepayers get for all of this useless indulgence? It’s not as if the Council will rescue you if you get into trouble overseas. In any case there will be precious little in the way of “International Relations”for councillors over the next few years thanks to COVID 19, so please delete this farcical line item.

  4. Peter S, 20. April 2020, 15:13

    Totally agree that councillors need to wake up and smell the (withered) roses. The Annual Plan, and Long Term Plan, should be thrown on the fire and new plans developed that remove all the “vanity spending” as detailed in this article. We need a concerted campaign of pressure on the council to do something about that $#&% convention centre. I am bitterly disappointed in the three Green Party councillors who voted for it (two of whom are still sitting councillors). Petitions, an email campaign, etc are needed? Why are they completely silent on this matter, as well as about the restoration of our library, when they are quite happy to trumpet about their generous 10% “pay cut”?

  5. Andrew, 20. April 2020, 15:21

    It’s hard to believe that the officials referred to in Jenny Condie’s article haven’t managed to stumble over some of these by now (or at the very beginning for that matter). Maybe there’s some extra trimming to be done there too.

  6. Pablo, 20. April 2020, 16:55

    Councillor Paul’s amendment to WCC policy for supporting business calls for $8million of council funding set aside for events to be redirected towards revitalisation and job creation, and for the fund to be available to a wider range of businesses such as start-ups. Funding startups is not core council business and is a high risk activity. A rates increase at a time like this should not even be an option.

  7. Marion Leader, 20. April 2020, 17:41

    As someone very interested in the environment I join Peter S in being disappointed in the three Green Party councillors (two of whom are still sitting councillors) who voted for the Convention Centre, the more so because it should be paid for 100% out of business rates since it is of no interest or value for residential ratepayers.

  8. TrevorH, 20. April 2020, 18:57

    I am shocked by the sheer effrontery of this budget. This Council is deluded. Where do they think they are? Paris, New York?

  9. John M, 20. April 2020, 19:01

    The whole WREDA thing is absolute nonsense. Their budget per annum is around $30million and approximately half of that I gather is salaries.
    There is no inbound tourism. Events and hospitality will be virtually non existent for some considerable time.
    Private enterprise in the event and hospitality business is taking a huge hit, sadly many of our favorite operators will disappear for ever. However Wreda at the ratepayers’ expense is allowed, courtesy of the WCC, to carry on regardless running “coloring in” and “Lego building” competitions along with ridiculous full page ads in the DomPost.

  10. judi m, 20. April 2020, 19:23

    Could someone/anyone explain why we cannot stop that convention centre? If it was a viable commercial concern, the Council wouldn’t have needed to build it, and now it is guaranteed to be a millstone around the ratepayers’ necks.

  11. Northland, 20. April 2020, 20:08

    Great article PGCM. It is extremely disappointing that the Council has failed to engage on this topic on this site. More disappointing is the complete lack of any empathy with the local population’s enforced pay cut. Can a Councillor, or even better the Mayor, comment on this thread and / or submit an article to explain either that the savings PGCM outlines are not possible (and why) or that they are not desirable (and why).

  12. michael, 20. April 2020, 20:38

    The problem is that, no matter how much we debate the issues and ask questions, unless it suits them we are ignored by council. And, because councillors are never held accountable for their actions, nothing is likely to change. Therefore, ratepayers will be expected to continually pay the costs resulting from council mismanagement, as is the case right now with the sewerage and water infrastructure crisis.

  13. Peter S, 20. April 2020, 23:59

    Well, their emails and phone numbers are publicly listed on the WCC website, so feel free to phone or email them, keeping it respectful of course!

  14. graeme, 21. April 2020, 1:12

    Put the whole lot on hold for a year and save a fortune. No one is going to be coming here for quite a while now anyway.