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Kaipara, and the Auditor General

The article in today's Herald regarding the potential $80m taxpayer liability for the Mangawhai waste-water scheme that so parallels what happened here is quite disturbing.

The mere fact that the Office of the Auditor General apparently manouvered to place itself outside of the 6 year Statute of Limitations to avoid ultimate responsibility for the disaster that now faces Steve Ruru's Kaipara Council should constitute sufficient warning to our ratepayers. Unfortunately, the fact that the AG has a representative on our Audit Committee, and is totally responsible for the TCDC Audit does not provide the confidence to which we should be entitled. Lynne Provost certainly does not amplify confidence in my book. 

Consider the following: 

But the Auditor-General's report included an independent report by Auditing and Assurance Standards Board chairman Neil Cherry, which found the work of the auditor used by Audit New Zealand was substandard between 2006 and 2009.

It particularly criticised the 2009 audit for failing to notice the council's additional borrowing to cover the cost blowout.

I simply draw attention to this situation because I am not at all satisfied that the question of 'internal' borrowing has been adequately recognised, or explained anywhere in the documents presented to Council, or in verbal presentations by the Chief Financial Officer. I look forward to being able to discuss this issue face to face with Steve Baker in the very near future.

We may have avoided the worst consequences of what has happened at Kaipara, but questions concerning the Eastern Seaboard Waste-water Schemes, and the Mercury Bay Sports Complex remain unanswered, while attempts are made to "put it all behind us" with a shrug of indifference. 

I don't believe this healthy, or desirable. 




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