Napier City Council loses $1.3 million a a pair of buses

This is such an appalling and avoidable waste of money:

Napier’s disastrous art deco buses have been sold for just $25,000 each – meaning the short-lived investment has come at a cost to ratepayers of more than $1.3 million.

The buses were sold at auction by Turners Auctions last week. The Dominion Post contacted the buses’ new owner, who did not wish to be identified, but confirmed he had paid “about” $25,000 for each vehicle.

He said the buses, named Veronica and Belle, were likely to remain in Hawke’s Bay but it was uncertain how or where they would be used.

The council paid $837,000 for the two old US schoolbuses, which were converted into Deco City Discoverer buses in the United States and shipped to New Zealand.

The goal was to provide a tourist link between the popular seaside suburbs of Napier and the city centre.

But when they arrived in Wellington, the buses were found to be unroadworthy, and the council had to repair numerous faults. The total cost, including refitting, shipping, a feasibility study, repairs, bus fittings, and other costs ended up at $1.1m.

NZ has no shortage of tourism companies and private bus operators. If these buses were a good investment for tourism, then a private company would have made the investment. But once again a Council thinks it should compete with the private sector, and the result is a $1.3 million loss for the 22,000 Napier households. That’s around $50 per household gone.

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