Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Boss denies US trip paid for by Deloitte

Andrew McKenzie. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Andrew McKenzie. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Auckland Council finance chief Andrew McKenzie has denied allegations by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters that he received an all-expenses-paid trip to the United States from the international consultancy firm Deloitte.

"I have never had any travel paid for me by Deloitte," Mr McKenzie said last night.

In Parliament yesterday and last week, Mr Peters made allegations about Mr McKenzie and the council's relationship with Deloitte.

He accused council chief executive Doug McKay of allowing Mr McKenzie to receive an expenses-paid trip to the US from Deloitte and alleged that Deloitte received significant consultancy fees from the council at the same time it was auditing the council's finances.

The chief executive said he had authorised two recent overseas trips by Mr McKenzie - the first to Europe before Christmas and the second to Geneva and New York in the past fortnight - to talk to potential investors in the council's bond programme.

Deloitte had organised some meetings for him while he was in the US.

In response to questions by Mr Peters in Parliament, Local Government Minister Nick Smith said he had held discussions with the Auckland Council mayor on a range of issues but not those of financial management raised by the New Zealand First leader.

Mr Peters referred to daily consultant fees of $3400 plus GST a day being charged for Deloitte to build a new computer for the Super City.

Last month, the Herald revealed the payments of up to $3400 plus GST a day as part of $27 million Deloitte made in consultancy fees for a basic computer system to get the Auckland Council up and running.

The $54 million project was the first stage of a 10-year programme to build a $500 million computer system.

Between the start of the Super City in November 2010 and last December, the council has awarded a Deloitte-led consortium about $13 million in contracts for work on the council's new computer system and more than $3 million for other IT work.

- NZ Herald

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