Bloggers seem to be asking the best questions on the cost of the POAL fiasco. Here’s NRT:
Asleep at the wheel
How much has the Ports of Auckland dispute cost Auckland’s ratepayers? As the ultimate owners of the port, you’d expect the Auckland Council to take a strong interest in this. However, you’d be wrong. According to an OIA request lodged through the fyi.org.nz website,
Auckland Council and Auckland Council Investments Limited do not hold any information in connection with the cost of the dispute.
Think about that for a moment. Auckland Council is relying on the dividend stream from a profitable port to help pay for Auckland’s rail network. And yet they claim to have no idea of the cost of this dispute, and therefore how it will affect their plans. Its even worse in the case of ACIL; they’re paid big bucks for governance and oversight of the Auckland Council’s investments, including the port. But apparently they don’t have any idea either. Which invites the question: what exactly are they doing to earn that money? Because it sure as hell isn’t “taking an active interest so as to maximise their shareholder’s profits”.
This is an appalling revelation. It shows both the Auckland Council and ACIL are asleep at the wheel and failing to exercise the degree of oversight and governance we would expect. The people of Auckland deserve better than this. And they should demand it at the ballot box.
Unbelievable. Stepping in to the void left by the Council, Robert Winter has a go at estimating the cost:
Cost of the Ports Dispute?
No Right Turn shows, astonishingly, that neither the Council nor ACIL are keeping track of the costs of the management-driven POAL dispute. It is baffling that no such data are available, so here’s my rough estimate:
2011 Operational revenue $175.4 million
divided by 365 days
= approx. $480,000 daily operational revenue
Let’s assume (generously) that the port is working at 15% of capacity as a result of the dispute:
= approx. $408,000 daily operational revenue loss
Additional costs as an effect of the dispute (legal fees, consultancy advice, extra security, research charges, PR costs), guessed at $20,000 daily:
= immediate losses about $430,000 daily (lost operational revenues plus extra costs). The real figure is probably higher.
So, let’s assume that the dispute will go on at least until May 16th (unless the management strtaegy folds, which is likely):
49 days (from today) at $$430,000 daily = $21.1 million losses
Management would want to off-set salary and other savings, of course.
Then one would want to add added costs for the economy e.g. training in supplies from Tauranga, disruptions to producers and consumers as a result of materials stuck on the wharves or waiting elsewhere to be sent, the cost to the Council of Alan Galbraith etc. (and the costs to MUNZ and its members!)
Any suggestions about how to improve this very rough calculation?
No wonder the Council doesn’t want to know.