Hundreds of Dunedin City Council staff have been treated
to a budget-conscious Christmas party, with senior managers
picking up the booze bill themselves.
Staff gathered at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Thursday
night for an end-of-year party funded by ratepayers.
However, once there, they were treated to free nibbles and
entertainment only, not alcohol, council chief executive Dr
Sue Bidrose said.
Instead, the council's senior managers met the cost of
alcohol personally ''to thank staff for another year's hard
work'', she said.
The exact numbers of those who attended was not known, but
the event was open to all staff and catering was based on 350
people attending, she said.
With managers picking up the bar bill, the cost to ratepayers
was expected to be about $2530, which was ''very similar'' to
last year's Christmas party, which cost $3248, Dr Bidrose
Mayor Dave Cull, councillors and members of the council's
executive leadership team, together with their partners, had
earlier enjoyed a Christmas function in Middlemarch last
Sunday, Mr Cull confirmed.
However, the outing combined a Christmas function,
team-building exercise and familiarisation trip for new
councillors, as well as acting as a fundraiser, Mr Cull said.
The group took a train to Pukerangi - provided at no cost by
the Taieri Gorge Railway - then walked or rode on the rail
trail, on bikes hired from a Dunedin business at a cost to
the council of $360, he said.
A barbecue dinner was held in a stone barn in Middlemarch, at
a cost to the council of $875, he said.
The dinner was provided by the Middlemarch Swimming Club as a
fundraiser, and was partially BYO, he said.
The group was then taken back to Dunedin by bus, the hiring
cost for which was yet to be confirmed, he said.
Mr Cull said the council had received ''a lot of bang for our
buck'' from the Middlemarch trip, which helped the council
and a community group, plus introduced new councillors to a
different part of their city.
The council, as an good employer, wanted to acknowledge the
festive season without ''penny-pinching'' but while being
responsible, he said.
''Clearly we are being very prudent, as we should be,'' he
Dr Bidrose said individual council departments would also
hold their own functions, such as end-of-year lunches, but no
budgets were allocated and they were expected to pay for