FROM THE EDITOR
One could suggest the Auckland Council through its property division, council-controlled organisation Panuku Development, is trying to raise more cash to pay for its escalating salary bill. When we hear a headline like last week’s 52 per cent of the council’s budget is spent solely on its employees’ pay, we’ve got a problem. Yes, employing staff costs, but not many businesses salaries are more than half their budgets. The council is one of the biggest businesses in Auckland, yet the difference is it’s public sector, meaning it’s the people’s government, ratepayers the shareholders. Panuku has been for a long costly period been seeing what public assets it can sell, to pay for other city infrastructure. Trouble is, it’s not listening to the communities, who are saying they want to retain assets such as buildings and car parks that were bought and paid for decades ago, and are still needed. To say there is no service need shows it’s not looking for community needs. (‘‘Mississippi’’ John Hiatt, Best of Here to Stay, 2000-12) - PJ Taylor
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