Not all overseas travel is a junket, but the $150,000 sent by Auckland City Council over 50 trips seems to be well out of control. Other Auckland Councils are only spending up to 30% of what Auckland City is.
The NZ Herald also notes that spending on such travel is massively up on what occured under Banks and Fletcher.
I will actually defend for very long flights, the use of business class travel. I don’t think you achieve anything by sending the Mayor on a trip to Europe economy class. The issue is more the number of trips by other Councillors (yet approved by Hubbard) which seems out of control.
In the ultimate irony two of the Councillors who are spending up on overseas travel – Glenda Fryer and Penny Sefuiva, are also two of the three Councillors who failed the $2000 planning course back home. Perhaps more study and less travel!
UPDATE: Kerre Woodham usefully points out that most travel overseas is hard work and not particularly enjoyable (which is true), but that the Councillors “won’t be locked away in conference centres being bombarded with presentations by terminally dull experts. My word no. According to the itinerary, they’ll be fannying around galleries, art exhibitions and sports events”