The $400 a head party ratepayers paid for

Stuff reports:

A doorman in tails, a light show, drag queens and hula hoop dancers, and the region’s finest food and drink in a beautifully restored historic building.

Just don’t call it a party.

Back in July Wellington City Council hosted a lavish event to celebrate the signing of its sister city agreement with Canberra, Australia’s capital, as well as Singapore Airlines’ new route linking the two cities with the Asian commercial hub.

So secretly funds Singapore Air to fly to Wellington with $8 million of subsidies, and decides that this needs celebrating with a huge party!

Hosted in the Public Trust building, the invite-only event was attended by 131 people, including more than a dozen elected officials from either side of the Tasman.

How nice for the elected officials.

Guests were served canapes, craft beer and wine from the Wairarapa.

Figures obtained by the Taxpayers’ Union show the event cost ratepayers a little over $51,000, or close to $400 for every person who attended.

A $400 a head party, funded by ratepayers.

Wellington City Council communications director Jeremy Baker said the spending was “excellent value for money” but insisted the event was not a party.

“[W]e would not accept [the] characterisation” of the event as a party Baker said.

Asked how he would characterise the event, Baker said “it was an event organised to celebrate the new sister city relationship with Canberra and the Singapore Airlines announcement” as well as “a chance for Wellington businesses to show off their creativity to the visiting leaders”.

It it sounds like a duck, walks like a duck …

I’m almost past getting angry about these, they are happening so often.

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