According to the article on the stuff website: “In a decision made behind closed doors on Thursday, council members voted unanimously to subsidise Air Chathams to help get direct flights between Paraparaumu and Auckland off the ground again.”
The $150,000 figure, however, may not be all of it: “the full amount of the ratepayer subsidy would not be known until negotiations with Air Chathams were completed over the next few weeks.” So, the councilors have given Wayne Maxwell a blank cheque.
“Taxpayers’ Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke criticised the council’s decision, calling it a classic case of corporate welfare. “The Council has turned Air Chathams, a private, profitable business, into a charity case,” Houlbrooke said.
“Regular flyers like councillors and Chamber of Commerce members will benefit, but it will be at the expense of the general Kāpiti ratepayer, who is far less likely to get their money’s worth from these flights.”
This doesn’t surprise — like everything else the present councilors are asked to rubber stamp, it’s not their money, so why should they care? Well, there is the little issue of whether the ratepayers care about the way their rates imposts are used, and in October next year there will be a little referendum on their insouciant, cavalier attitude.