Lack of oversight by Greater Wellington Regional Council 'scary'
A Greater Wellington Regional Council guarantee to cover $150 million of debt in the event of default by CentrePort has raised serious concerns as the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union reveals correspondence that shows the Council has received no documentation whatsoever about CentrePort's insurance cover, or any information about the impairment of the Port's assets.
This is a terrifying show of failure of the most basic risk management and governance. The Council has only verbal assurances from the Port about its insurance arrangements, and despite owning 76% of the Port and being the guarantor of its debt, has required no reports whatsoever about the impairment of assets due to damage resulting from the November earthquakes.
No private company director in the country would be so casual about risk. It is worse than incompetence by those who sit on the Council.
While everyone assumed, as stewards of our money and managers of our community owned assets, Regional Councillors would have more information than the public about just how badly the Port is damaged, they simply don’t.
What audit committee would allow a $150 million debt guarantee related to property developments without having in place precise disclosure and agreements about insurance? This is a potential liability that could cripple the Regional Council, while they keep their heads in the sand.