Cera spends $17m on consultants

GLENN CONWAY
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2014

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Outside consultants working for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) were paid more than its own staff in the last financial year.

Figures from the 2013 annual report showed Cera's more than 200 staff were paid a total of $16.12 million but consultants and contractors pocketed $16.98m.

Cera recorded a $19m surplus, which was returned to the Crown's coffers, after receiving income of $63.5m but spending only $44.5m.

The unspent money was largely because the Cost Sharing Agreement with the Christchurch City Council took longer to settle.

Cera underspent its personnel budget by $2.5m because of delays in recruiting staff.

Other facts and figures on Cera's activities in the last financial year have been released by Parliament's finance and expenditure committee.

They include:

It spent $647,571 on public information campaigns.

It seconded 12 communication staff for various periods at a total cost of $1.1m.

It awarded 13 $1m-plus contracts, the biggest being a $10.5m deal with Opus International Consultants and the second largest involving a $6.4m contract with Hawkins Construction.

Twenty staff resigned, a turnover of just over 10 per cent.

The highest paid staff member, apart from chief executive Roger Sutton, was paid between $360,001 and $370,000. The lowest 21 paid staff were each paid between $40,001 and $50,000.

Two staff have credit cards that each have a $10,000 limit

Cera's lease of the HSBC Tower cost $1.4m, up about $500,000 on the previous year. Catering costs were $390,000.

Senior staff spent $1.3m on domestic travel and $113,000 on international travel.

It leases all but six of its 19 vehicles. Most are Nissans, but there is a Mercedes Benz Sprinter in the fleet.

Cera spent $87,000 on staff training

Nearly 87 per cent of its business was contracted to New Zealand owned and operated firms.

Source: Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority 2012-13 financial review.

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