Our Council Controlled Organisations

How Well do Our CCOs Rate?


Bernard Orsman of the NZ Herald wrote a two part series about Auckland‘s Council Controlled Organisations – a.k.a The Auckland Bureaucracy.

You can read the respective articles in the list below:



What was interesting first up was the fact that the some of the CCO‘s could be up for a merge, or downsizing. That is fine with me to get some savings back to the ratepayer so long as our services are not affected.


Although what was more “interesting” is what Orakei Local Board Chair Desley Simpson had to say on the Herald’s series about our errant CCOs:

 Saving $ is great but what I am interested in is the improvement in communication and interaction with local boards Hope this will be reviewed at the same time Happy to input!

That prompted this remark from me:

  • Ben Ross Might be finding both Local Boards and normal ratepayers wanting to give input to OUR errant CCOs. But the CCO that needs the largest kick up the backside can not be touched due to the law…
  • Desley Simpson No guesses needed as to what you are referring to there Ben!


Upon reflection of that comment, ATEED is the CCO that needs the biggest kick up the backside for the amount of grief that CCO has put Auckland through. From the Rugby World Cup to the V8 Pukekohe saga, ATEED seems to have the knack in really annoying Auckland ratepayers from either daft decisions or being all Secret Squirrel with Councillors and the public over some of its decision-making processes (The V8s being the most recent). So using Desley’s remark on interaction and communication, ATEED fails badly there.

As for that other CCO that we shall not name and I was initially commenting about, well I can not exactly give it a kick up the backside for interaction and communication as that CCO which we shall not name has actually improved, especially if their Twitter communication and interactions are anything to go by as that has gone for strength to strength. So thumbs up there. As for a few other things, well we shall say that is a work in progress folks and leave it that.


But at the end of the day it is the communication and interaction that the CCOs really need to work on. While at arm’s length from Council Governing Body, having a healthy and open relationship with the GB, Local Boards and the ratepayers would be a wise idea unless the CCOs want open hostility from the ratepayers on a really good day.

So I recommend to the CCO’s if they want to help boost their “street-cred” with the Local Boards and ratepayers adopt these simple philosophies and stick to them:


  1. Open Governance: I believe in open governance where the public can sit in, listen and where possible discuss “matters-of-state” as much as possible with their representatives. None of this hiding behind closed doors (except for commercially sensitive material that does come up from time to time), and fessing up when you know you have stuffed up. You might find the public are more sympathetic you one acknowledges and apologies for a legitimate mistake
  2. Basics first: One thing I learnt when I moved out from the parents’ home and struck it out in the real world (including getting married and owning our first house) is that with the limited resources you have got, you did the basics first then with anything left over you just might be able to afford a luxury. Same applies to our civic institutions; they have limited resources so get the basics right first then “treat yourself or others” to a luxury if you are able to do so once the basics are taken care of.
  3. Listen and Engage: God gave us two ears and one mouth. In my line of work you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth. Not the other way around as that is usually monologue and the fastest way to get your ears clipped. Same applies to civic institutions:  you actively listen with both ears THEN engage IN DAILOUGE with your one mouth unless you like getting your ears clipped… Oh and remember some days all the person wants you to do is JUST LISTEN to their little piece – as all we want some days is just to get it off our chests.


That was from my What Do I Stand For and Believe In – For a Better Auckland. Something I will be using as benchmarks if elected to Papakura Local Board next year to see how our CCO’s are  treating the ratepayers and their money. But if the Herald article from yesterday was anything to go by, all three points above need some serious working on from ALL our CCOs.


In the meantime back to submission writing!