Call to cut spin doctors
A leaked, confidential Auckland Council report has revealed the local body is spending $45 million running its various communications departments which employ 234 staff.
Critics have called for the council to tighten its belt and drastically cut the number of ‘‘spin doctors’’ it employs.
The review is one of four ‘value for money’ studies being undertaken by the council to find better ways to get value from council spending.
Mayor Phil Goff, who campaigned on tightening the city’s excess spending, addressed the reviews, which he instigated, at a meeting with the North Harbour business community in August.
‘‘I’m spending your money,’’ he said. ‘‘You need to know you’re getting value for money in what we spend.’’
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance are now calling on Goff to halve the communications salary bill in light of the leak.
‘‘Phil Goff and the current council were elected more than a year ago to cut wasteful spending. Why isn’t it happening?’’ alliance spokesperson Jo Holmes said.
‘‘We’re calling on Mr Goff to make a commitment, here and now, to cut the $45 million bill in half.
‘‘That would show that he is serious about fighting for the region’s ratepayers, and not the Council’s 234 spin doctors.’’
Phil Goff pressured to cut communications staff.