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Penny Bright's Campaign

Sunday 14th of October 2018: Penny Bright's funeral gathering at St Matthews in the City, Auckland.
Thursday 11th of October 2018 :  R.I.P. Penny Bright
Thursday 4th of October 2018  Penny Bright has died. Radio NZ National
Wednesday 26t of September 2018 : Petition Handover at Parliament
Thursday 10th of May 2018 : Press Release
Sunday 6th of April 2018 : Read Penny's update here. Hearing of Penny Bright's interim injunction application has been scheduled: 10am on Monday, 14th May 2018 at the Auckland High Court.

This video was recorded in Auckland hospital - 19th of April 2018

2018-04-19 Penny Bright expains

2018-04-24  Penny Bright given brief reprieve over forced home sale : Radio New Zealand

A High Court judge has granted a short term interim injuction, giving Ms Bright three more days to prepare her case seeking a halt to the sale.

The High Court is managing the forced sale of Ms Bright's home to recover 11 years of unpaid rates, penalties and legal costs amounting to more than $34,000.

Ms Bright said she bought her home for $145,000 in 1990. It now has a rating valuation of $1.04 million.

Tenders are closing at 4pm today but Justice Woodhouse said there would be no adverse effect on the council in allowing Ms Bright more time to prepare her paperwork.

Halt the Forced Sale Of Penny Bright's House
Please read and SIGN THIS PETITION and distribute it widely.

Please CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY to the trust fund that has been set up to raise $21,000 before the 24th of April 2018.
My bank account details are:
PM Bright 
38 9010 07257 19 00
Please be reminded that for the last fifteen years, I have chosen to work full-time on a self-funded basis - receiving no central or local government funding for my anti-privatisation / anti-corruption work, and I don't ask for help unless I really need it. , Like now. Kind regards Penny Bright Ph: 021 211 4 127

This video can be shared through Facebook @

Penny Bright <waterpressure@gmail.com>


What’s Wrong With This Picture?

By Vince Siemer / April 3, 2018

She is an unpaid, full-time public advocate who Transparency International New Zealand recognised as instrumental in advancing transparency into how billions of dollars of ratepayers’ monies are spent in Auckland.  She has an unrelenting, brash and uncomfortably in-your-face style – and she prolifically spouts facts and figures as her first line of attack and defence.

He is a local public servant who earns almost a quarter million dollars a year more than the New Zealand Prime Minister.  $690,000 per year.  He is the distinguished bureaucrat who manages how Auckland ratepayers’ monies are spent; a position which brings many potential suitors to his door.   Perhaps tellingly, the ratepayers pay his exorbitant legal bills which he would doubtfully authorise if it was his own money.  More on this in a bit.

Penny Bright, whistleblower v Stephen Town, Chief Executive of Auckland Council.  The battleground is now Ms Bright’s house which Auckland Council last week published it intends to tender sale by 24 April 2018.

Ms Bright owes Auckland Council over $20,000 in rates on her freehold Kingsland house.  She says she is refusing to pay the deficit until Auckland Council “opens the books” on what Auckland Council is paying private contractors.  In addition to asserting ratepayers are entitled to know where their money is spent, she believes the existing model is rife with conflicts of interest and backhanders.   With legal costs and penalties her outstanding bill stands at $47,000, and Auckland Council is now seeking to force sale of her home to collect the debt.

Mr Town on the other hand has long considered information on what private contractors are paid to be proprietary, alleging any financial disclosure on how ratepayers’ monies are spent would compromise the business relationships Auckland Council enjoy with private contractors.

As to her forced house sale, Town says it is unfair to other Auckland ratepayers if Bright is not forced to pay her back rates – which have skyrocketed to the equivalent of 1 ½ weeks of Mr Town’s salary.

Ms Bright cannot help believe there is some bad blood acting out, having sued Mr Town for defamation in a case which never went to trial.   The catalyst was an Auckland Council-funded October 2014 press release in which Town claimed “Ms Bright has made wild and inaccurate accusations about the Council and its probity”.   An Official Information Act request by Ms Bright revealed Auckland ratepayers paid $207,133.62 to law firm Simpson Grierson to file 3 motions (first 2 unsuccessful) to strike out Bright’s defamation claim pre-trail and 1 motion for security for costs, just to make sure Mr Town did not suffer the injustice of the half day court hearing which the legally-unrepresented Bright sought to have her 3 1/2 page defamation claim. heard.

Being the ever-annoying public watchdog, Bright early on exposed that Town had authorised Council pay more than $100,000 in legal costs ahead of any court appearance.

Relevant to the ratepayers’ legal expenditure Mr Town authorised, lawyers defending a half day hearing in the High Court are entitled to $1,600 in fees under the High Court Fees Regulations 2013.  Ms Bright offered to settle her claim against Mr Town before filing for $10,000 damages and a retraction – an offer which Town flatly rejected.

Why is Mr Town so focused on hiring lawyers at ratepayers’ expense?  And what is the business imperative in selling Ms Bright’s house when Auckland Council can simply file a charging order which ensures the rates will at some stage be collected with interest?   Town’s best answer to the second question is it sends a message to the larger community that non-payment of rates will not be tolerated.  But the truth is this dance has been going on for years with Ms Bright.  It is hard to see any variables changing other than the successes Bright has recently achieved in making local government spending more transparent.

Among these successes is exposing Mr Town has personal authority on behalf of Council to award contracts valued up to $20 million.  And that Mr Town has routinely exercised this unchecked power to award contracts to members on the private sector lobby group The Committee for Auckland of which he is personally a member.

In the broader realm, no one in the know would dispute Bright has single-handedly whittled away at Town’s executive powers to grant contracts under the public radar.  In 2015, she succeeded in compelling Auckland Council to divulge contracts exceeding $100,000 in value and this has recently been reduced to $50,000.  After an Auckland Transport executive and private contractor were criminally convicted of collusion to defraud Auckland ratepayers in February 2017, Ms Bright sought and obtained a commitment from the Board of this Auckland Council-controlled organisation to publish private contracts.

Evocatively kiwisfirst was refused an Official Information Act request in 2016 for information on how much Auckland Council was spending on lawyers to silence Ms Bright on the ground Ms Bright might use this information in court proceedings.

Einstein stated “Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work.” and Warren Buffet unrelatedly observed “Price is what you pay and value is what you get.”  Yet both could well be fitting axioms for the juxtaposition of CEO Town’s value to New Zealand society relative to Ms Bright in this bitter fight where Bright’s value comes at no cost to society.   Mr Town spends ratepayers’ money somewhat lavishly where it is not his money and where no one before Ms Bright had exhibited any inclination to shine the sanitising light of day on this bureaucratic spending.  Conversely Ms Bright has no money so she spends nothing other than her time and that time is either (1) running up the cost of local government if you believe Stephen Town, or (2) saving New Zealand society in spite of its apathy if you don’t.

Often in history civilisation pivots on a small grievance which lays bare a greater ill and thereby provides the tipping point to monumental change or – unthinkable in our society – revolution.  Few would argue Ms Bright’s civil disobedience is sustainable in its own right.  The question is whether there is merit in her reasons and, if there is merit, whether such merit advances our society as a result of her disobedience.

Penny Bright addresses Auckland Council


31 March 2018

Press Release : Anti-corruption whistle-blower Penny Bright "Stop the forced rating sale of my home! How is Auckland Council lawfully compliant with its own 'Rating Sale Policy'?"

"Today the forced rating sale of my freehold property was publicly advertised," says 'anti-corruption whistle-blower, Penny Bright.

" I have contacted the Barfoot and Thompson agent, and advised him that I do NOT consent to anyone 'viewing' my property, and  that I am raising this matter directly with the Attorney-General because I believe that lawful due process has not been followed by Auckland Council."

"The Auckland Council Rating Sales Policy (CP2013/01403) states:

"14: The rating sales process is outlined by the following steps:

1. legal proceedings are initiated, and a court judgment issued with a Charging Order (registered on title documents) against the property.

16.  The power to enforce a rating sale comes with a significant responsibility to ensure that the power is not used inappropriately.

A policy on rating sales has therefore being developed to ensure that there are clear rules regarding rating sales."

"The 'Composite Computer Register Under Land Transfer Act 1952, that I have, (search date 8 March 2017) hows no Charging Order registered against my property for the Judgment Debt of $47,431.76, given in the Auckland District Court on 18 January 2017."

It appears that Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town, has not followed Auckland Council's 'Rating Sale Policy'.

Please see attached documents which verify this position."  ( e-mail Penny Bright <waterpressure@gmail.com> )

Penny Bright

Ph: 021 211 4 127

'Anti-corruption whistle-blower'.

2017-11-09 Penny Bright outlines the issues in an interview with Lisa Er on GreenPlanet FM in Auckland.  Click here to listen

   2018  Penny Bright's Submission to  Auckland Council 10 year budget and Auckland Plan 2050 .

  You have until 8pm Wednesday 28 March 2018 (tomorrow night) Email to  akhaveyoursay@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 ( Please help yourself to anything you like or agree with and feel free to add anything else you feel strongly about 🙂

27 March 2018

'Submission' on the 10-year budget and Auckland Plan 2050.

First name: Penny

Last name: Bright

Postal address: 86A School Rd, Kingsland Auckland 1021

* I am opposed to ANY further rates increases when Aucklanders do not know exactly where public monies are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors, and the NZ Public Records Act 2005 is not being lawfully implemented and enforced:

The Public Records Act 2005;


17Requirement to create and maintain records

(1)Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

* Provide the following details of awarded contracts on the websites of Auckland Council and Auckland CCOs:

The unique contract number; name of consultant/contractor; brief description of scope of contract; contract start/finish dates; exact dollar value of every contract, including those sub-contracted; how contract was awarded, by direct appointment or public appointment or public tender.

* Auckland Council and CCOs cannot check for ‘value for money’ or ‘cost-effectiveness’ if you don’t know exactly where the costs fall.

* Auckland Council and CCOs cannot provide genuine transparency or accountability without full and accurate records available for public scrutiny.

Wherever possible, public services should be brought back 'in house', as international research has proven that the contracting-out of public services can be twice as expensive:


“POGO’s study analyzed the total compensation paid to federal and private sector employees, and annual billing rates for contractor employees across 35 occupational classifications covering over 550 service activities.

Our findings were shocking—POGO estimates the government pays billions more annually in taxpayer dollars to hire contractors than it would to hire federal employees to perform comparable services.

Specifically, POGO’s study shows that the federal government approves service contract billing rates—deemed fair and reasonable—that pay contractors 1.83 times more than the government pays federal employees in total compensation, and more than 2 times the total compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services."


* I believe there is not enough time or detailed financial information provided in the “Consultation Document” for the 10-year budget and Auckland Plan 2050.

Exactly how much public money is being spent - on what?

Exactly how much money is being borrowed, from whom exactly and for what exactly?

Exactly how much public money is being exposed to derivatives trading across Auckland Council and Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs)?

* I do not accept that all this ‘growth’ has to come to Auckland.

There should be a national population growth, migration and regional employment strategy, in order to stop overloading our transport, water services, housing and related infrastructure.

* This Auckland (forced) ‘Supercity’ amalgamation may have been successful for corporates, property developers, investors, bankers, land-bankers, but it has been a disaster for local communities, residents and local small businesses.

* There is now very little ‘local’ about Auckland local government.

* The Auckland region is now being run ‘like a business - by business- for business’, and the mechanism for this effective corporate takeover, has been the replacement of 8 former democratically-elected Councils, with 1 ‘Supercity’ Council, and first 7, now 6 unelected, (CORPORATE) ‘Council’ Controlled Organisations (CCOs).

* CCOs need to be abolished and key Auckland infrastructure and trading functions brought back ‘in-house’ under the direct control of Auckland Council.

* Water, wastewater and stormwater need to be integrated and brought back under direct Council control.

* Auckland CCO Auckland Transport (AT) is particularly ‘out of control’, destroying local communities and causing significant congestion, by pushing urban cycleways on main arterial roads and suburban shopping centres, to help drive intensification.

How? By removing parking (for cycleways) to help kill off local small businesses ‘no parking - no stopping - no shopping’.

Who will benefit when these small businesses wither and die? 

Property developers and corporate shopping malls.

* I do NOT support a ‘Regional Fuel Tax’.

There is no such thing as ‘PUBLIC’ transport in Auckland.

Bus, ferry and train services are privately owned / operated / managed.

* Make Auckland transport PUBLIC again - PUBLICLY owned, operated and managed.

* Stop the proposed spending of another $635 million on another 150kms of Auckland cycleways, in order to increase the number of cycling commuters from 1-4%.

The 99% of commuters who are not cyclists are entitled, as directly-affected residents, businesses, customers and local communities to proper, lawful consultation.