What a difference a day makes to a joint venture
When the joint waste committee met last Tuesday, Wellington City Council representative Ngaire Best poured oil on to troubled waters and the language was conciliatory.
Wellington councillors wanted work halted on the proposed jointly- owned council- controlled trading organisation, not on the joint venture, per se, she said.
Just one day before the committee chairman Tim Sheppard, a Porirua City councillor. was palpably frustrated by Wellington’s lack of notice or consultation, and the bill that had been left for Porirua’s ratepayers to pick up.
Porirua was senior partner in the proposed joint venture, he said.
‘‘Roughly, we paid two thirds of the costs, they paid one third – a quarter of a million dollars on consultants.’’
‘‘When you have a joint venture and you are changing things around, you consult with your joint venture partner, let them know.’’
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett was more blunt. Asked whether the deal was one in the eye for the concept of shared services between councils, he said: ‘‘It is essentially one. Unfortunately this is the history of shared services; they just don’t happen.’’
He said he understood why Wellington City councillors had voted the way they did.
‘‘They are concerned about council- controlled organisations, their transparency and the ability of elected members to influence them.
‘‘From Porirua’s perspective, we want to be able to provide as efficient a level of services as we can and as costeffectively.’’
Asked if Wellington’s move had been punishment for Porirua’s refusal to take part in a regional governance survey process initiated by Wellington City Council and instead participate in an alternative Wellington Regional Council-run one, Mr Leggett said: ‘‘ No. While we are proactively talking about amalgamation we are also looking at further shared services as well.’’