Commenting on Tory Whanau’s secret meetings with the US owners of Reading cinema which resulted in $32 million of ratepayers’ money being pledged to buying the land on which the building sits, Taxpayers’ Union Policy Adviser, James Ross, said:
“Wellington City Council’s culture of back-room dealings and secret agendas isn’t unique, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.
“With the Council predicted to blow its budget by $1 billion, the public quite rightly expect that every cent of their rates will be spent on getting core services working again. Rather than dealing with public scrutiny when their vanity projects empty the council coffers, Wellington City Council is now in the habit of simply closing the curtains and covering their ears.
“Worse still, Tory Whanau, Barbara McKerrow and their lackeys are threatening councillors with disciplinary action over the fact that the public were made aware of this fiasco. It’s one thing running scared from accountability themselves, but trying to bully into submission those councillors who still believe in transparency is beyond the pale.
“A much-needed culture change at Wellington City Council can only take place when the Chief Executive, Barbara McKerrow, is finally shown the door.”