Video: Analyst Larry Mitchell On Financial & Policy Issues Facing the Whangarei District Council

Monday 10 September 2012, 8:46AM
By Clare Swinney


Finance & Policy Analyst, Larry Mitchell gave a presentation about serious financial issues facing the Whangarei District Council (WDC) and its ratepayers on September 5th, 2012. His was a warning and as Cameron Slater put it: "Larry Mitchell likes to kick local government in the teeth."   It seems he is not popular with poorly performing Councils - he exposes them. He believes the Whangarei District Council is in very poor shape financially and that Council is covering up its true state of affairs.  This appeared to be confirmed by a former Whangarei District Council employee, Bill Harris, who spoke about his frustrating attempts to elucidate an answer to a question about Council debt.

Mitchell believes we should be looking at what is sustainable and affordable. He has released league tables for local government and said the WDC should be on red alert because of a poor ranking in his 2012 Local Government League Table.  Whangarei was placed 62 out of 67 territorial authorities.
In this talk he explains the rationale behind the league table and why this is important information people need to know.
He explains the Council will possibly sink ratepayers into a mire of debt, if we are not vigilant and careful.  What happened with the Kaipara Council is a warning he says.
Mitchell has over 30 years active experience of commerce, chartered accounting and more recently public sector finance and policy. He now runs his own consultancy business from Puhoi, 40 km north of Auckland, New Zealand.

Larry travels extensively, principally of late in North America (Canada) and the Middle East conducting local government and business development assignments. Larry services the New Zealand local government sector with financial and policy advice. He markets the "Base Stats with Trendz" statistical reports to over 30 Councils.

Larry graduated B Com. in 1967 (Accounting, Economics and English). Larry served as a pilot in the RNZAF before taking up public accountancy. Following over twenty years experience as a partner in Coopers and Lybrand's Auckland office in 1996 he graduated Master of Public Policy in public sector finance.

Larry acts as the Senior Fellow for Local Government with the Manitoba, Canada based Frontier Centre for Public Policy. See for these contributions based on his New Zealand, Australian and UK local government experience. His most recent research paper, entitled Smart Local Government is at and makes a case for adoption of New Zealand local government (model) legislation for Canadain municipalities.


To download Larry's CV Click Here:

The meeting was organised by Public Watchdog, Warren Slater.  Ph 09 4594992    Mob 0274 948955        Email:      Website: