This is a similar set of questions to the one we sent last year, with some different ones.
The most significant changes:
- Full-time equivalent permanent staff up from 322 to 337 — plus 49 full-time equivalent non-permanent staff who work out of council premises (31 last year).
- Recruitment costs jumped from $161,225 to $267,927.
- “Communications” team up from 5 to 7 staff. This essentially is the propaganda division.
- Staff resignations were down from 68 to 54. This may reflect the worsened general employment situation because of Lockdown which occured in the 4th quarter.
- Expenditure on advertisements with Kapiti Observer (Stuff) and Kapiti News (NZME) were $19,710 and $98,163 respectively (total of $117,873). Last year these were respectively $52,422 and $66,855 (total of $119,277). Thus the council has shifted spending from Stuff to NZME — this probably reflects the fact that the present Mayor has a weekly column and gets much favourable coverage in the latter, also that the Kapiti Observer has few Kapiti stories nowadays to interest readers.
- Expenditure on lawyers decreased slightly from $876,593 to $861,000 — that remains a massive amount of money. Auckland-based Simpson Grierson is the biggest beneficiary of the KCDC ($435,431) followed by Mr Power of Power Law ($289,035) who works in the KCDC HQ and whose main client is the KCDC.
- Expendtiture on other external professional consultants was $793,000.
- Overdue Rates payments by Kapiti people as at the 30 June balance date increased 14 % from $2,369,000 last year to $2,699,000.
There are several other questions and which you can read. One we are interested in is whether staff posting comments on social media are required to identify themselves as council staff. However, as we’ve seen, it’s easy enough to disguise identity with fake accounts.