Grinch that Stole Christmas?

$20/head for a non-alcoholic party? Good investment – just “bad timing”


I see two particular people are pushing a barrow against Auckland Transport this morning (well one was last night looking at the Scoop release). Affordable Auckland’s Stephen Berry and the NZ Herald‘s Bernard Orsman seem to be pushing the barrow around Auckland Transport holding a family orientated, no-alcohol based event at The Cloud last weekend.

From the NZ Herald:

$40k Auckand Transport do draws flak

By Bernard Orsman 5:30 AM Tuesday Nov 12, 2013

Cash-strapped Auckland Transport criticised for ‘enormous’ staff party at the Cloud.

A financially troubled council body has splashed out about $41,500 on a party for 1700 staff and family at the Cloud, including entertainment from X Factor NZwinner Jackie Thomas.

Auckland Transport held the One Team party at the waterfront venue on Saturday – the first time in three years staff across the organisation and their families have got together.

As well as Jackie Thomas, a juggling group and ethnic dancers entertaining party-goers, four food trucks served food and soft drinks at a combined cost of about $20 a head.

Auckland Transport paid another council body, Waterfront Auckland, $7500 for the hire of the Cloud.

Last night, Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton – whose organisation is forecasting an $18 million shortfall for next year’s budget – said the council body was concerned about the wise use of ratepayers’ money but believed the event was a sound investment and good for organisational culture.

Staff had requested an opportunity to meet more of their colleagues and it could never been done in work hours for operational reasons, he said.

Mr Warburton said the $20-a-head cost was less than the budget of $30-$35 a head for Christmas functions, there was no alcohol and some activities for the children.

You can read the full article over it in the NZ Herald


Essentially the event came to $20/head which is pretty cheap and quite prudent for again what was a family orientated mass party. I am quite sure the children would have not minded Jackie Thomas putting out a few hits knowing X-Factor had a quite a few followers at the beginning of the year.


The saying goes there are Christmas Parties and there are Christmas Parties with the latter often being booze-fuelled events and often terrible hang-overs that go beyond the traditional hang-over. This Christmas bash would have not been the latter but rather a wind down and for staff from AT’s large empire, to see each other and just relax.

Especially after not an easy year which is still on going (Future of grace period for old bus cards uncertain) and could be easily pinned to senior management not being on the ball <_<  with the entire AT-HOP saga and buses.


I did Tweet this earlier this morning:

56Ben Ross ‏@BenRoss_AKL23m

@sudhvir no alcohol, family event, close to public transport, good night out, $20/head This should be retweeted for all positive reasons

In saying that probably “bad timing” on the event owing to what I alluded just earlier not being an easy year for Auckland Transport and their staff. However, I am not going to be the Grinch that stole their Christmas either, just hope the people at the party had a very good time 🙂