How much has the Ports of Auckland dispute cost Auckland's ratepayers? As the ultimate owners of the port, you'd expect the Auckland Council to take a strong interest in this. However, you'd be wrong. According to an OIA request lodged through the fyi.org.nz website,
Auckland Council and Auckland Council Investments Limited do not hold any information in connection with the cost of the dispute.Think about that for a moment. Auckland Council is relying on the dividend stream from a profitable port to help pay for Auckland's rail network. And yet they claim to have no idea of the cost of this dispute, and therefore how it will affect their plans. Its even worse in the case of ACIL; they're paid big bucks for governance and oversight of the Auckland Council's investments, including the port. But apparently they don't have any idea either. Which invites the question: what exactly are they doing to earn that money? Because it sure as hell isn't "taking an active interest so as to maximise their shareholder's profits".
This is an appalling revelation. It shows both the Auckland Council and ACIL are asleep at the wheel and failing to exercise the degree of oversight and governance we would expect. The people of Auckland deserve better than this. And they should demand it at the ballot box.
(fyi.org.nz is an excellent resource, BTW, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to ask the government what they know. And the more people who use it, the better a resource it will become)