Piha Opinion

Friends in high places ?

16 Comments 16 March 2015

Friends in high places ?

“I fully support Christine [Rose] as Waitakere Councillor.  She’ll be great for the job” said Sandra Coney, on the billboard.

I was surprised that Christine didn’t stand in Rodney – after all that is where she lives.  Penny Hulse and Linda Cooper won the 2 seats in the Waitakere Ward – both previously being Councillors with the old WCC.

ChristineRoseaI know a number of people who came across Christine Rose, at the Karekare Horse Races, handing out information about Kauri Dieback.  What they didn’t know was Christine is being paid lots of  $$$ to do this –  by the Waitakere Ranges Local Board – $45,000 actually !

Christine Rose was not elected by the people of Waitakere to represent them on Council.  We chose Penny Hulse and Linda Cooper.

Christine obviously has friends in high places.  Her official title is  ‘Kauri Dieback Community Coordinator for the Waitakere Ranges‘  and as mentioned is paid $45,000 by Waitakere Local Board to do the job.

I’d like to know if this job was advertised and if it was where and when.  I know a number of Waitakere people capable of and who would have loved this job.

Christine Rose also went cap in hand to Local Boards for some funding for her Maui dolphin work and, I understand, was given $K10 from Waitakere.

Local Parks come under the Local Boards.  The rest comes under Regional Parks, Auckland Council.  They have a large budget along with DoC from ratepayers and government contributions.

At a time when the Local Board keeps saying they have no money for anything I’d like to think they would leave regional expenses to Auckland Council and concentrate more putting money into their local people and communities.



Your Comments

16 Comments so far

  1. Sally says:

    Jobs for your political mates. It’s not just some cushy quiet backroom job, it’s a profile raising job for a professional politician where she hands out pamphlets on eco-issues at public events to potential voters using public money. Surely a local person could have been given a shot at this job. Not ok

  2. Michael says:

    Where are these jobs advertised! Nowhere. Where are local projects tendered! Nowhere. This is just one of many contracts in Waitakere that has gone to the elected members or their associates either directly or through their trusts. How come these jobs aren’t advertised in local rural community blogs and papers. Because they are selected by Council staff from within their inner circle without robust processes (like advertising locally)? What is council’s policy on staff contracting to politicians in line with their political affiliations? Is this democracy? Or is it corruption?

  3. Alan Willjay says:

    In the interests of fairness, I’d point out that some of the local body right wing’s ‘Friends in High Places’ are far from flash as well perhaps a bit more subtle but sometimes not.

    That of course is why there is due process to follow which goes down the Mayoral dunny when there’s a friend in need. The present situation would seem to have all the hallmarks of pigs at a trough and vested interests clattering in the wind.

    • Penny says:

      Well hopefully any good citizens interested in democracy would call out right wing politicians when they come across it. But surely raising it in the media is part of the democratic checks and balances. Which brings us to the question, where is the Western Leader and how come we don’t have any political analysis on these issues. Shouldn’t just be left to Bobbie to right the world’s wrongs.

  4. Nothing you say here is correct Bobbie. The job of Kauri Coordinator was publicly advertised. The procurement process was run by the regional Biosecurity Team not the local board. The position is within the rgional Biosecurity Team not the Local Board. Christine Rose did not receive $10,000 from the Local Board for Mauis Dolphin work.
    Sandra Coney
    Chair Waitakere Ranges Local Board

  5. Village Voice Editor says:

    1. Page 56 of WRLB Agenda 26 Feb ’15. “Budget: Kauri dieback coordinator $45,500.” Is this money NOT going to Christine Rose?
    2. I did not say the Board ran the procurement process I said “and as mentioned is paid $45,000 by Waitakere Local Board to do the job.”
    3. Which part of this statement is incorrect? Her official title is ‘Kauri Dieback Community Coordinator for the Waitakere Ranges” (and as mentioned is paid $45,000 by Waitakere Local Board for this job.”
    4.Same page 56 of WRLB Agenda 26 Feb ’15: “Budget: Maui dolphins $10,100”. Who is going to receive this money?

  6. gregpresland says:

    Bobbie stop digging. Honestly you are aware I blog as well and respect fellow bloggers but when you are wrong you should fess up and print a retraction. It is the only safe thing to do. It has been pointed out to you that the decision was purely an officer’s decision and that the board had no input into it and that the job was advertised and that Christine is qualified so all of your innuendo is wrong. How about you correct it so we can argue about the stuff where there is a basis for argument.

  7. Coaster says:

    It’s hard for me to not see that every chance you get Ms Carroll, you do your best to stir up anything remotely good Sandra Coney does.
    Do you have issues with her?
    I would suggest your constant criticism and petty attacks on Ms Coney are in fact a lone voice not that of a village which you purport to be.
    It’s actually tediously obvious and quite bullying in my view.

  8. Hillsider says:

    I just read this article and the comments and Bobbie clearly states she would like to know where the job was advertised. It does have an healthy stink about it. Jobs for mates is common but we have a right to question people we pay. The Western Leader is a pathetic nothing rag and no descent journo would give it the time of day so yes this seems the only place to get the real questions asked. Good on you Bobbie. You put a smile on our faces.

  9. Totally Independent says:

    Revised: The unelected colleague endorsed by Future West , who lives in Rodney, Christine Rose has been awarded the Waitakere Ranges Local Board’s new job contract. Greg Presland and Sandra Coney confirmed the decision was made seperately by officers and any link was purely coincidental as she was the best qualified for the job. Christine Rose, from Rodney, is also the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society Heritage Co-ordinator which is the same job previously held by Mels Barton and elected member Saffron Toms. As another example, Weedfree Trust also has an annual contract of $200kish per year, who’s founder and project manager is elected member Neil Henderson. This is also awarded totally independently by council officers. There are more – but all are made totally independently by council officers. Concerns were raised with the correct channels who also confirmed it’s all totally independent. Totally.

  10. Village Voice Editor says:

    If you look closely you’ll see my article is published under ‘Opinion’.
    Plenty of tax and ratepayers keep an eye on where our money is going and fortunately, because we live in a democracy, we are able, and entitled, to question it.
    I just want to know where and how the job was advertised. Fair enough ?

  11. alan willjay says:

    @ Editor.

    I do note that the original question has not been answered and stick with my ‘pigs in the trough’ analogy.

  12. sandra coney says:

    Bobbie should ask the people who advertised the job where it was advertised, that is the biosecurity team. The local board does not know as it did not run the process.

    • Village Voice Editor says:

      Are you able to answer this Sandra? “Same page 56 of WRLB Agenda 26 Feb ’15: “Budget: Maui dolphins $10,100″. Who is going to receive this money?”

  13. sandra coney says:

    No decision has been made on the of the Mauis Dolphin budget line allocation. A paper will be coming onto a Board agenda with a programme for the expenditure of this budget line, but as of now, it is not allocated.

  14. Reader from afar. says:

    Ha ha. I had to laugh reading this article. You seem to be scratching the suface of something that has concerned me for a number of years. Keep digging and you will see they are ALL interconnected in a not so transparent manner. Oh and as for Presland talking about respect!I have read some of his blogs and they are disgustingly disrespectful. I like your work here Ms Carroll. Haha . keep it coming.

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