GOBSMACKED – Foothills Economic Budget of 25k Goes to Fancy Greenhithe Consultant.

Gobsmacked!  25k was allocated for Foothills Economic Development last December.  Auckland Council decided they knew best and ,without consulting ratepayers, they used  the 25k to make a list of all the businesses in the foothills, by “computer research (googling) and driving around.”  Council outsourced the project to a Managing Director and Senior Consultant in Greenhithe (ex ATEED )! Talk about overkill.

The only Economic Development that occurred  was an injection of 25k  into the economy  of Greenhithe.

This work should have been done by junior council staff  and if not outsourced to a Uni Student who lives in OUR local board area.  This local board is responsible for the ECONOMY in OUR area.   Spend it locally and the money would have made an economic difference.

Furthermore, the  Heritage Area Act Legislation for our area says the council must specifically focus on new ways and support for Rural economy.  If the report is followed up with a massive budget it makes sense.  But if this is it – then the money could have been best used to DO SOMETHING- advertise the Oratia Farmers Market, or print Foothills branded  recyclable carry bags or t-shirts,  or done a small advertising campaign advertising the region or an event drawing people to the area .  They could have asked the key businesses in the Foothills what they wanted or what would be useful.  But we received another report and at a consultants rate, with the 25k for the job going out of  our area.  It’s not surprising Auckland Council is on the verge of bankruptcy if this is a reflection of their economic literacy.  I don’t expect to see much change from 25k – another report for the drawer is what we’ll get. Gobsmacked!