An information release from the “Our Auckland” website on 19th of August shows Auckland Transport spending $780,000 to have three pedestrian crossings installed in Papakura.
The money is being allocated from the fuel tax piggy bank via the Auckland Transport Community Safety Fund and it seems that the decision makers are happy to sign off on exorbitant projects.
Mayoral candidate Craig Lord is dubious about the contracts and unimpressed by the spend.
“$260,000 per pedestrian crossing. Someone’s playing games here. The people signing it off are happy to do so, they clearly don’t mind, and the ones coming up with the costs are laughing all the way to their beach houses.”
To make matters worse, the AT funding for the projects falls short and has to be topped up by the local board, which in turn takes money away from their other community projects.
“I don’t want AT to justify the costs to us because they’ll just spit out the data they were given. I want the contracting company in the room, with me and a handful of other Councillors, I want them to show us step by step, every bit of the project and have them justify all their charges. I want to see the figures of all the materials, and everything else associated with the projects, and then I’ll go ask other suppliers and get price comparisons. Auckland is being shafted somewhere I am going to find it.”
While the candidate agrees that safety improvements should be made wherever possible, he is perturbed by the way the process works.
“Is anyone double checking or triple checking the costings? How many tenders were put in for the work? Are they being cross checked, or have the departments become so blasé about these things that they treat it like a normal weekly grocery trip? If this is just one project in one suburb, just think about how much is being spent frivolously across the entire city each month. It’s not good. In fact, it’s atrocious.”
Lord vows to pull in all consultants and contractors and have each and every one of them audited for their own KPI’s and their “value for money” to the citizens of Auckland.