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Public servant troughers....are they scum?

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Author Topic: Public servant troughers....are they scum?  (Read 44 times)
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« on: August 19, 2017, 07:32:29 am »

Troughers by any other name still smell as rancid

Ratepayers should not be paying councillors for one job while they are out campaigning for another, says the Taxpayers’ Union. At least four candidates in the three main centres are still enjoying salaries over $90,000 while they campaign for seats in Parliament. The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on them to follow the lead of Lawrence Yule and Adrienne Pierce, who have stepped down from their locally elected positions in the lead up to the general election.

It’s now a well established practice.  Auckland Mayor Pill Goff did it the other way around by drawing his $160k+ salary as an MP while running full time to be Mayor of Auckland. 

Who are these well-practiced troughers looking for a deeper through?

Wellington City Council has two elected members running for Parliament – Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle is running for Labour in Rongotai, and is drawing on a salary of $111,000. Cr Andy Foster is running in Wellington Central for NZ First, while also continuing to receive a a salary of $91,000.

In Auckland, Cr Denise Lee is running for the National Party in Maungakiekie whilst drawing on a salary of $107,599.

In Christchurch, Cr Raf Manji is contesting the Ilam seat [as an independent] whilst on a $102k salary.

“In the three centres alone ratepayers are up for more than a hundred thousands dollars paying for councillors who are away campaigning in the election regulated period,” says Mr Williams. “At a minimum all four should be on unpaid leave.”

It isn’t just common sense, it is common decency.

But then there aren’t a lot of politicians that know what decency is.

The Remuneration Authority has given MPs a nearly 2.5 percent pay rise. The pay rise is backdated to July this year, and takes an ordinary backbench MP’s salary to $160,024 – a rise of nearly $4000.   Nov 8, 2016

They do, without exception, know what a bigger trough looks like.

C slater
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2017, 05:17:23 pm »

Not necessarily scum. Where there is an opportunity, people will take it. Unfortunately there is plenty of opportunity to be a trougher in a govt funded sheltered workshop producing vacuous drivel. That's not to say that all govt funded things produce vacuous drivel. I was listening to Kim Hill today and decided she has succumbed to fawning over loony left vacuous drivel of the fembot variety.
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2017, 05:45:04 pm »

Yes...I agree....used to like Kim Hill....( many years ago)..but listened to her a couple of times lately and came to the concusion that she may have joined the "lefty do-gooder brigade"🙄

....why is it  that when some people become financially independent...or wealthy.....they develop a desire to give everybody else's money away😳
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2017, 06:06:42 pm »

...Wellington ratepayers are being "troughed" 😉

Wellington rate payers are paying for Cr Andy Foster’s tilt at becoming an MP

The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that Wellington City Councillor, Andy Foster has made extensive use of ratepayer funded IT and communications recourses as part of his efforts to stand for Parliament with New Zealand First.

“We’ve received several complaints, including from a concerned insider at the Council, for what appears to be a total disregard of the rules around using Council recourses for election campaigning,” says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union. “Earlier this week we wrote to the Council’s CEO, asking him to explain what is going on and how why the Council are effectively subsidising Cr Foster and his NZ First campaign.”

“It appears Cr Foster’s is totally disregarding the rules. Our members have even seen him use his ratepayer funded laptop at election meetings for NZ First business. That is simply not allowed.”

No.  But then it’s done all the time.   And it continues to be done all the time because the repercussions are essentially Nil.

You have to get really creative to even be charged for violating the Electoral Act.  Getting a conviction really needs you to be stuffing around with ballot papers.
C slater
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 05:01:07 pm »

...typical communists....🙄

Phil Goff adds another crony appointment

I won’t be expecting to see Malcolm Harbrow at No Right Turn blog about Phil Goff’s crony appointments, he only ever holds National to account.

Meanwhile, Phil Goff has appointed a Wellingtonian and former landlord, Annette King to the board of Watercare in Auckland…to go with a East Cape resident, Michael Cullen, being appointed to Auckland Transport.

The Super City is getting a distinctly Labour Party flavour with the appointment of former deputy leader and Health Minister Annette King to the board of Watercare.

King is the second senior Labour Party figure to be appointed to a council-controlled organisation since former Labour Party leader and Mt Roskill MP Phil Goff became Mayor of Auckland 11 months ago.

Former Finance Minister Sir Michael Cullen was appointed to the board of Auckland Transport in April.

King was hand-picked as a mentor and regular escort for new Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern at the general election.

Goff has made no secret of his desire to bring political nous to the boards of council organisations, like Auckland Transport, which is widely seen as a law unto itself and in need of a culture change.

It is understood that Cullen, who became chairman of NZ Post after serving as Deputy Prime Minister under Helen Clark, is expected to become chairman of Auckland Transport when Lester Levy’s term expires in November next year.

Funny thing is I haven’t heard a peep out of Labour either about these crony appointments. Normally they are very quick to call out other such crony appointments.

Labour has always been better at looking after their own. They are shameless about it. They have no qualms in handing out jobs for mates, but when National does it they always quiver in fear that someone might make a fuss.

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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2017, 08:06:54 pm »

OK yeah, before I go. These gravy train mates appointments are crony bullshit and need to stop.
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Having fun in the hills!

« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2017, 08:24:48 pm »

Yes, I agree....the Nats have been appointing their crony mates to “snouts in the trough” positions ever since they took over the reins of government in 2008.

And if you look back at every Nats government, right back to the 1st Nats government of Sidney Holland, they've been at it for decades.

Cronyism has always been alive and well on the Nats side of the political fence.

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If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2017, 01:01:35 pm »

.....scum should be sacked ......communism is great when you have a little spending power....that's why communism is so bad🙄

Editorial: $1100 dinners - you wouldn't Wreda about it

Former Wreda boss Chris Whelan's lavish spending included $216 on Bluff oysters, part of a $1100 dinner paid for largely by the public.

EDITORIAL: Perspective. It's a wonderful thing.

It's good to know that you can get a healthy dose of it merely by flicking through the pages of your newspaper. Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, please take note.

Case in point: yesterday's Dominion Post had a worrying story about overworked midwives frequently clocking up 24-hour shifts or more, to bring shiny new citizens into the world while easing the pain and potential danger to the mother.

As the article pointed out, whether that takes three hours or 30, the midwife is paid $1168, which must be shared if he or she is exhausted and needs to call on reinforcements.

Oddly enough that's not far off what Chris Whelan, former Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (Wreda) boss, paid for a meal he hosted at one of the city's swankier restaurants. The bill, highlighted in today's paper, included $216 for 36 Bluff oysters.

It was paid for, in large part, with public money and signed off by another person at the dinner, Wreda board chairman Peter Biggs.

Unfortunately it was not a one-off: Whelan's credit card receipts record big numbers on several occasions, a tour of the city's finest establishments paid for by the public purse and including the odd $155 bottle of wine.

As the article points out, Whelan's well-looked-after guests included city council boss Kevin Lavery, former mayors Kerry Prendergast and Nick Leggett, and new Hutt South MP Chris Bishop.

All of this has been revealed during a week of national navel-gazing about Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings' salary and concerns about corporate greed.

Another insightful sliver of perspective.

Now, criticising fat cat CEOs for exorbitant salaries is like taking a $360 bar of To'ak candy from a morbidly obese baby.

It's just too easy because we all know, deep down, that it might be about what the market says, it might be "it is what it is", but it's still plain wrong.

That feeling of inequity is magnified further when the bills are funded not by the corporate world but city hall.

Much of Wreda's budget, including the chief executive's entertainment expenses, is paid out of the pockets of the Wellington region's ratepayers. Last year they forked out $18 million to help the organisation bring more business, visitors and events to the region.

It is perfectly reasonable to expect part of that money will be spent hosting important guests and other key stakeholders. And fish'n'chips on the waterfront clearly won't cut it.

It is unreasonable when many of those lavish dinners involve essentially internal stakeholders in the Wreda operation at significantly more than $100 per head.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester has quite rightly expressed his disappointment about past spending, and sought assurances of future frugality.

In defending Wreda during past criticism he said recently it was about giving the region "more power, more strength, and more budget to do more".

We're assuming he didn't mean $216 on Bluff oysters for a lucky few, and $1100 dinners. Which, by our count, could have bought 12 pairs of underpants for Tuku Morgan.

 - Wellington
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2017, 07:34:57 pm »

.....Gough keeping the trough full at the Auckland Council...

"The council's annual report showed 1,151 people on its pay-roll earned over $100,000, and six of them earned between $340,000 and $700,000 — the highest pay band."

.....that's amazing....no wonder there's no money left for infrastructure🙄

Former Auckland Council employee given $405k golden handshake
Twenty-eight former Auckland Council employees received severance pay ranging from $3,000 up to a whopping $405,739 in ...
Twenty-eight former Auckland Council employees received severance pay ranging from $3,000 up to a whopping $405,739 in the last financial year.

A former employee of Auckland Council collected more than $405,000 in severance pay during the last financial year - six times as much as the next payment down.

The hefty pay-out has raised red flags for mayor Phil Goff, who said the matter had been referred to the Office of the Auditor General for independent scrutiny.

"I took it up first with our chief executive, who has assured me that proper process was followed.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff was surprised to see such a hefty severance pay-out in the council's annual report.

"But it's my responsibility to the tax payer just to make sure," he said.

There is no legal cap on severance pay, but the Auditor-General's guide for the public sector stipulates the amount must be "able to be justified as a proper use of public money".

Without the significant outlier, the council's average severance payment last year was just over $21,000.

Goff said a confidentiality agreement meant he could not confirm the name of the employee, their salary, or the reason they received severance pay.

"The large amount does suggest they were a senior employee, though," he said.


The council's annual report showed 1,151 people on its pay-roll earned over $100,000, and six of them earned between $340,000 and $700,000 — the highest pay band.

It showed that 28 former employees had received severance payouts of between $3,000 and $405,739 during the 2016/17 financial year.

Goff said the Auditor-General's ruling on the particularly high severance payment had not come back yet, but that he expected it "fairly soon".

The guide, which was written in 2012, said only about five per cent of severance pay-outs awarded by the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court were for $15,000 or more "in recent years".

Without the hefty outlier, the council's average severance payment last year was just over $21,000.


The Auditor-General's guide described severance pay as a settlement "over and above" an employee's contractual agreement.

It gets paid out when an employer and employee are in dispute, for instance if the employer loses faith in their employee without valid grounds for firing them, or the employee faces a personal grievance claim.

"Sometimes when employment difficulties arise, ending the employment relationship with an agreed severance payment can be a reasonable and rational decision," the guide read.

"Severance payments must be based on a careful assessment of the costs, benefits, and risks of the approach, and on proper legal and tax advice," it added.
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