$250k in reports now gone to waste?
A joint waste management venture between Porirua and Wellington cities has ‘‘ gone down the gurgler’’, wasting $ 250,000 in consultants’ fees, claims a Porirua City councillor.
Wellington City Council is re-assessing its involvement in council controlled organisations ( CCOs) such as Wellington Zoo Trust, Basin Reserve Trust and in waste management. A review of the two councils’ managing waste activities together is part of this.
Tim Sheppard says the joint committee that oversees the wastewater treatment plant in Titahi Bay and Spicer Landfill, which he co- chairs with Ngaire Best from WCC, proposed that all solid waste operations in the two cities be jointly managed. This went into both councils’ draft long-term plans, but WCC deferred the proposal on June 12.
This comes after an expert report from Deloitte costing $200,000 and a peer review for $50,000. Mr Sheppard says the cost to the Porirua ratepayer is about two-thirds of that total bill. ‘‘I bet a dollar to a dog turd that Wellington City Council didn’t consider for a minute that big loss for Porirua.’’
Mr Sheppard says the decision to reject the proposal by WCC’s Strategy and Policy Committee on June 27 was made by politicians, against advice of their council officers.
There was no briefing from WCC to their Porirua counterparts.
Ms Best, however, says nothing has been decided and it is a deferral as they investigate the future of CCOs in the context of regional governance. They will have a clearer idea in the coming weeks.
‘‘We have said there should be no more work on this [joint venture] at the moment, but it has not been rejected. We just need to see where it sits in the big picture, there are a number of other pieces of work going on right now that will affect it. Tim is incorrect and it’s premature for him to be making statements like he has.’’
Ms Best conceded some of their colleagues were not in favour of CCOs and joint ventures, but she said there was a rationale for them. The last thing she wanted was for the two councils to be ‘‘at war’’.
PCC chief executive Gary Simpson is to seek clarification from WCC on its commitment to the existing joint venture.