Accusations of ‘lying’ fly over Wellington supercity deal

Public affairs watchdog Penny Bright believes she’s found evidence the public have been lied to about the planned Wellington supercity merger.

Bright, who’s also campaigning for the Auckland mayoralty, is currently in the Wellington region investigating the supercity deal.

At the centre of it is a claim from the Local Government Commission that the merger will result in future “costs savings”, meaning the supercity would be good for ratepayers.

Bright, however, wondered if that was just spin and did some digging. She claims the LGC don’t actually have any “costs datum” showing exactly where costs fall under the current system for council services across the greater Wellington region.

If they don’t have the data now, says Bright, how can them claim that a supercity will save money in the future?

So she looked even deeper.

“The ‘Application’ for the Wellington ‘Supercity’ Reorganisation Proposal, led by the Greater Wellington Regional COuncil (Fran Wilde), and supported by 15 other parties, was based upon the purported ‘efficiencies’ of other ‘Supercity’ amalgamations – including Auckland,” says Bright.

“I did an OIA request to Auckland Council, requesting the evidence of these purported efficiencies and received the politically dynamite reply – ‘we have no such information’.”