One of Sideshow Bob's first mayoral acts was to 'buy' the Ellerslie Garden show. It was a decision that got a heap of national media coverage - and Sideshow is always keen to get his face on TV or in the newspapers.

But why spend big money - reportedly $2 million - on a Auckland garden show? Why not just create you're own and save all that money?

The details of this 'purchase' were withheld from public view. Sideshow claimed this was because of 'commercial sensitivity'. Commercial sensitivity for who? Sideshow Bob and his merry band of councillors? It seems that Sideshow thinks that Christchurch ratepayer's don't need to be told what he is spending their money on.

But local radio station NewstalkZB has been doggedly pursuing this matter. It made a bid for the details to be made public under the provisions of the Official Informations Act.

Much to Sideshow's disappointment, the Ombudsman agreed with NewstalkZB and said that there was no reason for the purchase details to kept confidential. In other words, Sideshow Bob has been making things up again.

The Ombudsman ordered the Christchurch City Council to release the details by 24 April - which was yesterday. This is approximately four months after Sideshow announced the puchase of the Ellerslie Garden Show.

However, at the time of writing, the details have still not been released - we await developments.


  1. Any news on this? What can people do if the Council misses its deadline and/or doesn't release the information?

  2. As far as I know nothing has been forthcoming from the Christchurch Council - which suggests they have appealed the decision. Will have more info next week..
    I don't think the Ombudsman has any direct powers to force information to be released but rarely is an Ombudsman decision ignored. It's not a good look and it then comes to the attention of a Minister..


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