Lot of leaks for a 'tight ship'

Letter of the Day

Last updated 07:37 12/09/2012

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OPINION: The fact that the service review at the New Plymouth District Council is unlikely to lead to any major changes (Taranaki Daily News, September 10) shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

Tinkering at the edges when structural and cultural reform is needed will never deliver much. None of the self-appointed guardians of the status quo will do much to consider the $10 million pa interest expense on our external debt, or the $34 million pa wage bill that is already chewing up two thirds of our rate bill, or the many areas outside of NPDC's proper scope.

Still, it's interesting that the CEO should already declare that she's running a tight ship and it begs the question whether the terms of reference for this committee have been carefully designed to give the desired internal outcome.

Perhaps economy is being confused with efficiency and effectiveness.

Economy is finding the cheapest business class seats to ship the NPDC circus to China this year, efficiency is sending only one or two, and effectiveness is not going at all.

Efficiency is not gold-plating engineering projects like spending $160,000 on adding one disabled car park outside Kawaroa pool when re- designating one additional car park would have had the same effect.

Effectiveness is not spending $215,000 on buying a derelict house for potential road widening when traffic is already two lanes wide around the property.

Even within the low ambitions of the 'Review Committee' there should be ample scope for sustainable savings without affecting service levels if NPDC culture is addressed, but I'm not holding my breath.

LEN HOUWERS

New Plymouth

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