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Source: Taxpayers Union

Solving Wellington City Council at a fraction of the cost without a facilitator
Faced with a divided and dysfunctional Wellington City Council, Mayor Andy Foster, who campaigned on his ability to bring councillors from across the political spectrum together, has shown the benefits of his recent $30,000 leadership course by decisively hiring an external facilitator to try to bring councillors from across the political spectrum together, all at a cost which is undoubtedly higher than $30,000. Despite leading the Council generally being considered the core role of a Mayor, His Worship has used insights gleaned during his six-day “Strategic Leadership Programme Ascend The Peak” course in March 2020 to delegate this responsibility to a high-profile consultant. The course, which teaches that “it is leadership, not management, that has the most profound influence on organisational success”, was held at the Arrowtown Institute of Learning and Leadership, better known to most as Millbrook Resort. Fortunately, the ratepayers of Wellington footed the $30,000 bill in the name of “professional development”. No council vote was required. Mayor Foster demonstrated his new hard-earned leadership skills by hiring consultant Sue Wells to facilitate the operations of his council where tensions are currently running high. Ms Wells is well placed to deal with the feuding councillors as she previously worked on their induction process late last year. Surely there can be no better person to fix the problem than the person who was working right there when it all started. At the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, we are sceptical of this argument. Wellington ratepayers pay the Mayor to do a job. Wellington ratepayers then paid for the Mayor to get better at his job. Now Wellington ratepayers get to pay for a consultant to have another go at doing the Mayor’s job. The Taxpayers’ Union hates waste of ratepayers’ money. In order to help, we locked three of our brightest analysts in an internet chat room for almost an hour and they came up with “10 cheaper ways to get Wellington City Councillors to get along”. All of these recommendations are guaranteed to cost less, most will probably be more effective than a second round of facilitation, and, at worst, they would at least be more fun to watch. “10 cheaper ways to get Wellington City Councilors to get along”
Sumo suit wrestling ($389 for four hours – in the event of no result after four hours, folding steel chairs wrapped in barbed wire which were left over from the Newtown Festival will be thrown in the ring)
Paintball (Self-funding – Councilors will lose 0.5% of their salary each time they are hit, and lose 1% of their salary each time they are hit by their own team)
Brewing beer at the Occasional Brewer ($795 for a batch – though councillors can be disqualified for making a sour beer, either on purpose or by accident)  
Axe Throwing ($700 plus insurance – a tie will be resolved by the far more controversial event of Axe Catching)
Alien Escape Room ($560 – based on “The Spaceship”, this game requires players to work together to crack the alien technology and save the world. On the upside, they do not get let out until they work together…)
“Two Truths and a Lie” game ($0 – A player will utter three statements and the rest must pick which one is not true. This will truly test councillors who are used to being open, honest, and transparent at all times)
Minigames on Houseparty (a lockdown-friendly video game which, when played in bubbles, should reduce the usual casualty count)
4-Wheel Driving ($0 – Thankfully Green Party Councillor Iona Pannett already has a suitably large off-road vehicle which is capable of climbing the difficult tracks in her ward such as Lambton Quay)
Live action roleplaying of “Crimes against Humanity” (self-funding – the Pay Per Views rights for watching councillors act out the worst of the worst will fund itself and build three new Town Halls)
“Do not spot the traffic cone” ($1.2m for orange traffic cones – councillors must drive through central Wellington without seeing a traffic cone. The first one to complete a verified cone-less 1km drive wins. Time limit – 4-6 months)