Costly relocation of councillors ahead of TPP protest

(Emily Cooper)
(Emily Cooper)

An Auckland councillor says it will cost Auckland ratepayers about $500,000 when council staff relocate to avoid a TPP protest next week.

A protest is planned when the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is signed at SkyCity on Thursday.

Auckland Council is telling its staff to stay away from its headquarters on Albert St and work elsewhere.

But Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer says protesters aren't after council staff and there's no need to flee.

He says 21 percent of council staff work at the headquarters on Albert St and those employers have been told to stay away for the day on Thursday, and to "flexi-work".

"I believe we should stand our ground and that all staff should be required to turn up to work at council's headquarters. If they're a bit worried about what's happening outside, then get to work early and bring your lunch," he says.

"Relocating councillors 25km to the Manukau Civic Centre and telling staff to flexi-work…is unacceptable, so I'm calling on council leadership to re think this."

At the same time, vocal TPP critic and University of Auckland Law Professor Jane Kelsey says there are plenty of protests to come.

"This weekend a number of parts of the country people are sending a message yet again to the Prime Minister in the hope that he will listen before the signing is due next Thursday," she says.

"People are getting really concerned and were expecting next Thursday people will be really furious with the Government. We are supporting non-violent protests."

3 News / RadioLIVE