Christchurch City Council Hands Out $96,000 in Goody Bag Perks
The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union can reveal that the Christchurch City Council spent $96,459 on induction perks for new and returning councillors and community board members following the 2019 local election.
One of the items included in the goody bags was a brand-new $2,407 Dell tablet. Councillors could choose to swap their ratepayer-funded iPad Pro for the more expensive device — the thing is, these iPads were actually purchased as late as 2017. The Council is indulging in flashy new devices every electoral cycle.
Other technology perks included $257 keyboard cases and extra power adaptors. This is in addition to a hefty $990 annual 'allowance', most of which is intended to be spent on wifi and phone calls. It's not clear whether the Council actually checks in on how this money is used.
While residents languish under soaring rates, elected officials are enjoying unnecessary lavish perks that most ratepayers couldn't afford to purchase for themselves.
This information was obtained under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. While the Taxpayers' Union also collected induction perk data from Wellington City and Auckland Council, it's difficult to accurately compare the figures, as other councils may not have included technology provided in their responses.
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