Auckland Council Complaints Cancelled

 

Nine months ago 109 property owners in Te Atatu South received notices from Auckland Transport saying their properties or parts thereof had been identified as being necessary for the widening of Te Atatu Rd and Edmonton Rd.

 

On 19 March I emailed 3 questions to the Chair of the Henderson-Massey Local Board, Vanessa Neeson, regarding the road widening. I was not satisfied with the response from my high paid “representative”.

 

On Friday 8 June I tried to contact the Mayor’s office during normal business hours. That turned out to be impossible. The entire Council it seems these days operates on canned music and answer phones. I tried to contact Michael Joseph in the Mayor’s office. He was unavailable. I left a message on his answer phone. To date my call has not been returned. At 12.25 pm I lodged a complaint as I was told no staff were available in the Mayor’s office.

 

On Monday 11 June I got the shock of my life when I was told my complaint had been “cancelled”. I asked to speak to Luke Bailey and Jane Harrison who appeared to be involved in the cancellation. Neither was available. I asked to speak to the Mayor’s PA. She was unavailable. I spoke to Kerry Harrington, PA for the Deputy Mayor. She said she would pass on my concerns to the Mayor’s office.

 

On Tuesday 12 June I rang and asked to speak to Kerry Harrington. I was put through to Jane Harrison. I told her I wished to speak to Kerry Harrington and she acceded to my request. After a brief comment with Kerry I asked to be put through to the Mayor’s PA. I was told she was unavailable. I asked for her name and was told it was Catherine but Kerry didn’t know her surname as she was a “temp.” She undertook to phone me or email me once she found out her surname. Once again I had been told by a call centre staff member my complaint had been “cancelled.” At 1.25 pm Darryl Griffin, Manager Democracy Services, rang me and apologised for the delay. He said he had only just got my complaint. I said I had been told it had been cancelled. He said that was not so.

 

On Wednesday 13 June, at mid-day, I sent an email to Darryl Griffin asking what action had been taken. Once again I had been told by a call centre staff member my complaint had been “cancelled.” Having heard nothing further by 3.45 pm I rang and asked to speak to Darryl Griffin. I was told he was unavailable. I asked for Kerry Harrington. I was told she was unavailable. I was eventually put through to Darryl Griffin who said he had been busy but would get a response to me that day. At 6.44 pm that night I got an email from Darryl formally acknowledging my complaint. He commented “On the matter of your complaint I advise that I have no jurisdiction to action a complaint that you make about not receiving replies to emails to an elected member. This complaint is now closed.”

 

NATURALLY, I AM NOT SATISFIED.

 

I call this the AC Three-Step.

                                                  COMPLAINTS

  1. Within 2 hours of receiving a complaint, advise call centre staff it is cancelled.
  2. Refer it to someone whose jurisdiction it is outside.
  3. Referee closes complaint.

 

–Not too dissimilar from the treatment of Privacy Act requests

                                         PRIVACY ACT REQUESTS

  1. We will deal with your Privacy Act request under Section 10 of LGOIMA.
  2. Your request does not comply with the provisions of LGOIMA.
  3. It is therefore declined.
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