What NBR readers say about Auckland Council's Twitter bullying

NBR ONLINE readers are united in their condemnation of Auckland Council bullying after the story of a Telecom employee who criticised the council on Twitter.

Tara Sutherland, a senior infrastructure designer at the telco, sent a scathing tweet about Auckland's parking prices on Monday.

She later alleged someone from the council's transport arm, Auckland Transport, complained to her employer about the tweet.

The story has prompted a huge response from NBR ONLINE readers, with one saying: "Auckland Transport is a loathsome organisation littered with bully boy arrogant twits."

Sarah M writes: "While this tweet was seemingly by one errant staff member, I must record that having dealt with Auckland Transport for some years now on a range of issues, my experience has been of an organisational culture that is arrogant, closed-minded, incompetent, inwardly focused.

"They certainly have no customer service culture," she says.

Among dozens of reponses another reader claims that in the council lunch room, they were  warned "not to dunk my wine biscuit in my cup of milo in the presence of any supervisor".

"I feel bullied in being denied a simple pleasure during my 10-minute morning tea break."

Other readers back Ms Sutherland's approach: "Have you ever tried getting a response from Auckland Transport?

"You have to fill in an online form and then wait 10 working days for a response. I received the response – which didn't answer my question – and rang the person listed on the reply.

"I was told I would need to fill out the online form again with my queries and wait another ten days for a reply. Is this a customer service organisation?"

Auckland Transport says it is conducting an internal investigation into what happened.


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11 Comments & Questions

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I have been trying to obtain a reply from Auckland Transport for four years regarding their desire to put a bus shelter outside our property in Devonport for a part-time bus service. Have asked for copies of any surveys they have done and the criteria they are using. No replies and no acknowledgement of receipt of my letters. Have finally resorted to using the OIA to try and obtain an answer. Answer due next week but not holding my breath based on past performance.


Wonderful summation Caleb - thank you !


Symptomatic of many councils, unfortunately. They are a law unto themselves.


You're kidding.....there's ONE??!!


No doubt the internal investigation will report back in 10 days, without answering any pertinent questions.


Dunno about dunking gingernuts but this is certainly a storm in a teacup.


Telecom should be jumping in here and getting their top lawyer to defend their employee and tell the council just how offensive their behaviour has been. The council seem to believe they are above the law. Maybe they will take notice of NZ's biggest company.

... and what are the council going to do about the disgusting behaviour of their staff?


Took our Association about 15 months to gain effective responses from AT on traffic management issues. And then we were "kissed" off.

This particular issue may be a storm in a tea cup but AT's overt arrogance is legendary. According to our local board chair, AT listens only to Liability Len.


Auckland Council is a monopoly service provider. So if you want to live in Auckland don't complain, else vote with your feet.


So you think people should just put up with bad customer service without saying anything ... really ??


Councils have forgotten the core functions - too busy building massive not-needed empires sponsoring stuff that private industry should fund. But you will note not this year, our super council mayor is on the budget spend cutbacks band wagon. I'm ready for change. Is everyone else? Or do I have to resort to give them more money when the local elections are over?


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