17 May 2009

Multi-million dollar contract stalled by super-city

12:14 pm on 17 May 2009

At least one multi-million dollar Auckland City Council contract has been put on hold as legislation forming a super-city transition agency is passed.

Parliament passed the bill paving the way for the super-city just before 8pm on Saturday after four days of almost non-stop debate.

The Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Bill sets up the new Auckland council and a transition agency to oversee its establishment.

The agency has the power to overrule local bodies in the region and has to authorise all contracts over $20,000.

As a result, Auckland City Council's City Development Committee has had to defer a $21 million waste collection contract.

Chair Aaron Bhatnagar says the $20,000 limit is too low, and he hopes the transition agency will not nit-pick over every little item of council spending.

Another committee member, Glenda Fryer, says many things councils do will be brought to a grinding halt.

She says it is bizarre that a Government-appointed transition agency will be able to make all the important decisions for Auckland.