Queenstown Lakes District Council is really in the dogbox with the Office of the Ombudsmen this time.
For the second year running, QLDC has been fingered in Parliament by Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem in her annual report.
Once again, Wakem names councils throughout the country which attract a “significant number” of complaints to her office – and QLDC tops the list out of 85 city, district and regional councils.
QLDC attracted 18 complaints in the June 30 year, well up on last year’s 11.
A “complaint” is recorded when a council may be in breach of Official Information statutes and a complainant asks the Ombudsmen to intervene.
A minnow in local body-land, QLDC nevertheless trounces the big-city councils of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Against QLDC’s score of 18 complaints, the huge Auckland council manages second place with 16, Wellington scores 13 complaints, and the two South Island cities 11 each. The Office of the Ombudsmen won’t say how many QLDC complaints were decided in favour of complainants.
On average, Wakem says, complaints against councils take 61 working days to resolve at an average cost to taxpayers of $1120 each.
Based on that, QLDC’s 18 complaints cost the public purse more than $20,000.