Costs of bu­reau­cracy

May­ors tackle lo­cal gov­ern­ment min­is­ter

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

An au­dit bill es­ti­mated to cost about $177,000 is send­ing Cen­tral Otago dis­trict mayor Tony Lep­per straight to lo­cal gov­ern­ment min­is­ter David Carter. At a coun­cil meet­ing last week, Mr Lep­per and deputy mayor Cr Neil Gillespie were vo­cal in their con­dem­na­tion of the cost of gov­ern­ment-im­posed au­dits and the use of ratepayer money to pay for them, the most re­cent ex­am­ples be­ing the long-term plan and an­nual re­port. Ear­lier this year, Mr Lep­per joined forces with Queen­stown Lakes dis­trict mayor Vanessa van Uden, who said her coun­cil’s LTP and au­dit had cost $126,000, to tackle the min­is­ter on ‘‘the cost of bu­reau­cracy.’’ Cen­tral Otago dis­trict’s cor­po­rate ser­vices man­ager Su­san Fin­lay told coun­cil mem­bers last week the con­tract with Au­dit New Zealand through the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s of­fice was due to fin­ish next year. Cr Martin McPher­son be­lieved that coun­cils paid ‘‘al­most tre­ble of what the pri­vate sec­tor pays’’ for au­dits, which Cr Gillespie be­lieved was of ‘‘lit­tle demon­stra­ble value to the ratepayer.’’ This would be part of an on-go­ing dis­cus­sion the two may­ors were hav­ing with Mr Carter, to im­prove ef­fi­ciency while main­tain­ing trans­parency, Mr Lep­per said.

Cen­tral Otago mayor: Tony Lep­per

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