30 Oct 2013

Councillor 'appalled' $42,000 spent on bags

3:37 pm on 30 October 2013

A new Auckland councillor has criticised the spending of tens of thousands of dollars of ratepayers' money on new computer bags for the city's politicians.

Waitakere Ward councillor Linda Cooper said she was appalled at the money spent on equipping politicians with new computer bags.

Ms Cooper said she was so embarrassed at the spending that she returned hers and would carry her paperwork in a shopping bag.

Ms Cooper said 170 bags were bought for incoming councillors and local board members.

During her maiden speech to the council on Wednesday, she said the bags cost $42,000, which would have bought 1000 library books or repaired 100 potholes.

Ms Cooper said as a ratepayer she is appalled, and as a councillor is embarrassed and hopes the idea is not a sign of a culture of excess at the council.

Restraint was also a theme for Denise Crumb, who said that those in her Maungakiekie/Tamaki ward had no money for extras and their tolerance for wasteful spending was exhausted.

Ross Clow, from the Western Whau ward, wants better housing and transport, as well as investment in the neglected suburb of Avondale.

The meeting was largely a housekeeping affair, with mayor Len Brown proposing his plan for the budget in November.