The Southland Times reports:
How many Invercargill City Council staffers does it take to buy Christmas lights?
Three – and they have gone to China to purchase them at a cost of thousands of dollars to city ratepayers.
Council chief executive Richard King said four staff are visiting Invercargill’s sister city, Suqian, in China for six days, with three on the trip to purchase replacements for the aged Invercargill Christmas lights.
Graphic designer Colleen Montgomery is there to choose the lights and to make sure they look effective.
Roading manager Russell Pearson, the senior engineer in charge of the Invercargill CBD upgrade, is in China to ensure the chosen lights can be installed from an engineering point of view.
And council finance director Dean Johnston, who is leading the delegation and is experienced in doing business in China, will conduct negotiations over the lights.
This is so extravagant. At the most you need one person to go. Arguably none – just do it by phone and Internet. They’re buying some lights.