Makes good news look bad

The Herald headline:

City council takes on more ‘spin doctors’

This refers to . And in fact it is “one” more.

The number of “spin doctors” at Hamilton City Council has increased in the past two years while six other positions in the communications unit have disappeared.

The council, which had to make cuts after the failed V8s street race cost ratepayers $40 million, slashed its budget for the department by more than half – from $739,000 in 2010 to $362,601 for the 2012/2013 financial year.

Their comms budget has been slashed by 50%. I call that good fiscal prudence. That should be the story highlight!

At the same time the number of communications roles grew from six, including one full-time position at Waikato Museum, to seven.

Is that all? Good God Len Brown has six spin doctors just in his personal office. The Auckland Council has over 130 in total. I suspect seven is pretty low for a Council of Hamilton’s size.

Privacy officer Jude Pani, who released the figures to the Herald under the Official Information Act, said none of the communications team would be at the disposal of Mayor Julie Hardaker or any councillors during the local body elections later this year.

As should be the case.

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