Hefty mileage claims from some councillors in store for Super City

By Edward Rooney -
Photo / Glenn Jeffrey
Photo / Glenn Jeffrey

Auckland ratepayers face forking out $1500 a month to some councillors under the new Super City - just to drive to meetings.

The Aucklander sought, under the Official Information Act, details of expenses claimed by Auckland regional councillors in the past three years.

The heftiest expense was the mileage reimbursement for councillor Dianne Glenn, who represents the Franklin/Papakura constituency and chairs the environmental management committee.

Mrs Glenn lives in East St, Pukekohe - 55km from the ARC headquarters in Pitt St, Auckland. Each month she lodges a claim for mileage at an average over the past three years of $1658.23 a month.

She said she had the highest rate of attendance at council meetings and her expenses claims reflected that.

Under the new regime, a councillor could incur mileage expenses from even farther afield.

The northern boundaries have been pushed as far as Te Arai Pt, beyond Leigh and Pakiri. Should a councillor be elected from Leigh for the Rodney ward, for instance, they could be driving more than 75km to downtown Auckland.

David Wilson, director of AUT's Public Policy Institute, said between two and six councillors could be chalking up huge mileage under the new Auckland Super City council.

"That's going to be the cost of the democracy that has been set up," he said. "Twenty councillors is not a lot for the whole Auckland region."

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