I am delighted to announce this afternoon a $15 million conference to take place at Waitangi, on the Chatham Islands, in the week of 5 October 2007.
The conference will be the largest ever gathering of local authority politicians and employees ever held in the Southern Hemisphere. The gathering will draw together some 1,200 local authority politicians across the 86 territorial local authorities in New Zealand, as well as some 25,000 people directly employed and contracted to local government.
Local government in New Zealand spends some $6 billion of ratepayers’ money annually, and consumes approximately 4% of GDP. The summit will bring together interested parties to discuss some of the most pressing issues of modern local government.
The three day conference will include keynote speakers of an international calibre on such innovative subjects as:
- How to Eliminate the Last White Straight Male from your Workplace—Local Government New Zealand Chair Basil Morrison
- The RMA, And How It’s Just Too Permissive of Sensible Development—Mayor Bob Harvey
- How to Railroad, and then Withdraw from, Massively Expensive Projects that the Public Doesn’t Want—Hon. Trevor Mallard
- Ministerial Vetoes: Why Judges are Bastards when they Overturn Them—Chris Carter
- How To Rort Ratepayers With Water Charges When You’ve Promised them Otherwise—Dr Bruce Hucker
- Ratepayers Views and How to Sideline Them—Open Panel Discussion
- Resisting Local Government Reform—Your Job Is More Important Than Their Money
The all expenses-paid conference will be free to all local government interested parties in New Zealand. The conference will take place the week before local government elections this year. Sponsored by a group of interested ratepayers, the $15 million summit will take place in the idyllic surroundings of Waitangi, on Chatham Islands. Conference attendees will be provided with free airplane transport to Waitangi, free airport transfers, outstanding conference and accommodation facilities, and fittingly sumptuous food and beverages on a local Chatham Islands theme.
Attendance by all local government mayors, elected councillors, community board members, senior management, middle-senior management, middle management, middle-junior management, senior-junior management, middle-junior management, associated management and related support staff is compulsory. Prospective candidates for local authority representation in 2007 are strongly invited to attend.
Conference organisers state that it is their desire to thank all the people involved in local government for the outstanding work that they do in guarding and maintaining ratepayers assets, and for the stellar work they do every year in adding value to the towns and cities in which they operate.
Conference organisers report that on the final day of the conference they will be holding a special fireworks display, of a kind never before seen in New Zealand. Following negotiations with Yuritkin Abdurakhmanov, the Associate Director of Black Market Sales in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the conference organisers have announced a particular treat for attendees. “We have spent some $25 million in addition to the conference expenses for some of the most eye-wateringly brilliant pyrotechnics available in the world today,” says Geoff Rateful, the chairman of the conference organising committee. “Some ratepayers might consider this to be an unnecessarily extravagant move. We believe, however, that local government members in New Zealand deserve every luxury we can provide for them.”
In unrelated news, the International Atomic Energy Agency has disclosed that an anonymous customer has recently spent $25 million on a “suitcase nuke” device in Tashkent. The vessel transporting the device was last spotted heading East from Lyttleton, New Zealand.