Finance and Performance Committee – September 2015. Also THAT Rail Report

Dud Rail Reports, Financial Year Reports, and 100MB of attachments


On Thursday the Finance and Performance Committee will meet and which you can see the main attachment below:


Two main pieces from the Agenda. First being the Rail Cost Review being reported back as a condition of the Long Term Plan 2015-2025 going through earlier this year. I will touch on that report further down.

But the main item is the July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 Council Finances Full Year report in which an $80m OPEX (Operating Expenditure) Surplus.


The Financials can be read below (warning it is 96MB to download):


While staff numbers are up so was our population as well. if I was to run a double line graph of staff vs population I would most likely find the two lines while going up getting farther apart. In other words the ratio of staff per capital of population decreases while remembering you do need more staff like Consent agents for those consents to build that home

But I suppose the big one that might not get mentioned by some outlets is the $80m OPEX surplus produced.

More in the finances on Thursday and Friday


Rail Report Complete Waste of Time

Tucked away in the main Agenda is the Rail Cost Review report that Councillor Mike Lee and a few other Captain Panic Pants Councillors insisted on as part of the LTP processes.

At the time the report was commissioned there was this apparent fear that rail costs for our metro rail were high and a report was needed to find out way. Well the report was done and now it is in.

The report only covered until from what I see end of year June 2014 if not then 2015. At that time Auckland was transitioning out the old diesels off the four Lines in preparation for full Electric Train running (apart from Pukekohe-Papakura) from late July 2015 onwards.

Given we now operate the Electrics and the only diesels are on the Papakura-Pukekohe stretch coupled in with less OPEX in running a single fleet on the main lines (prior it was heterogeneous) especially an electric single fleet you can figure out where things are going real fast.

The Long Term Plan and Annual Plans will not have to worry about diesel running as before July 2015 meaning costs will be automatically lower. Also with patronage increasing double digits percentage wise each month which means the subsidy per passenger kilometre falls (farebox recovery goes up) the report in the end was an utter complete waste of time.

Any efficiencies to be gained, any revenue opportunities out there have been cited by Auckland Transport previously and are being worked on already. As I noted earlier the subsidy is decreasing with OPEX costs decreasing now that the diesels are gone while Farebox Recovery goes up as more passengers use the rail system.

So can someone tell me why this report was ever commissioned given the above?

Next time can someone tell Councillor Mike Lee who should be put out to pasture to pull his head in please and save us a pile of grief and money on senseless reports.

By no means am I criticising those who wrote it but more that “panicked” and ordered its commission.


Electric Train at Britomart Source:
Electric Train at Britomart