Council wants say on how Aurora fines spent

Aaron Hawkins
Aaron Hawkins
Dunedin's council has voted to make a pitch to the Government for millions of dollars in Aurora Energy noncompliance penalties to be used for energy efficient initiatives.

But one councillor described the move as ‘‘embarrassing’’, and believed the Government was unlikely to approve it.

Mayor Aaron Hawkins put forward a motion at yesterday’s Dunedin City Council meeting, requesting that all penalties imposed by the Commerce Commission be reinvested in Aurora’s catchment, rather than going to the Government as they currently do.

The figure was expected to be about $5 million.

Mr Hawkins said the funding could go into projects that could, in the longer term, offset lines charges by decreasing the energy demand households had.

‘‘This is something that can support people in the long term.’’

It was unclear who would administer the money, but it was unlikely to be the council, he said.

All other councillors supported the motion, except Cr Lee Vandervis.

He said telling the Government how to spend money gathered from fines was ‘‘simply delusional’’.

He agreed more money should be spent on initiatives such as solar panels and insulation.

‘‘To try to do it under these circumstances, I think quite frankly, is posturing and it will be seen that way by the Government.’’

The motion was passed 13-1, with Cr Vandervis against.

Comments

If Aurora caused a fault, the money should be used to reconcile the fault.

Hmmm...Aurora Energy is owned by Dunedin City Holdings Limited on behalf of the Dunedin City Council. DCC wants to use the penalties imposed by the Commerce Commission, penalties that have been incurred because the DCC failed to provide proper oversight over Aurora Energy, on projects designed to decrease the energy demand on Dunedin households. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is one of the most idiotic and corrupt proposals I've heard any politician propose! Think about it. If the Government approves this proposal, the precedent has been set to reward a council for incompetence and negligence. What incentive would any council have to act in a competent and professional manner if the government provides a financial incentive for their failures. If anybody on the DCC had a shred of self respect and decency they would apologize and resign!. Vandervis gets censured for demanding service and accountability while the DCC gets $5Mil for incompetence. What sense does that make? We live in a culture that is results based; success is rewarded and failure is punished. I think this proposal proves the old adage; the inmates are running the asylum!