Summary of cost structure of Crown cars

Lional Jones made this Official Information request to Department of Internal Affairs

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Internal Affairs, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: Lional Jones

Dear Department of Internal Affairs,

A story in the NZ Herald today detailed the difference in dollar spend between the PM and Judith Collins on Crown limos.

I searched for information on your service and note that in your OIA request response 3 April 2019 you outline a charging schedule of $68 and $171 per hour.

Question1: Can you confirm if Judith Collins was charged $171 per hour for the dollar figure quoted in the NZ Herald 24 May 2021, and the PM was only charged $68 per hour.

In your 2020 Annual Report you note the VIP transport service bring in revenue of $8.77m against a forecast of $9.0m.

Question 2: Does the revenue collected from Judith Collins in question 1 contribute to the $8.77m revenue figure and if so, what was the proportion Judith Collins contributed to the figure against the PM's contribution?

Question 3: What was the total annual operating budget for VIP transport in the year for 2020?

Question 4: The OIA response mentioned above says there is a "separate annual available fee, calculated proportionally against all jobs calculated". Can you please explain what that actually means?

The 2020 Annual Report notes revenue of $8.77m. I assume the $68 and $171 per hour make up that plus the "separate annual available fee".

Question 5: For the year 2020 ( and I assume these are all financial years quoted) can you advise what was the split of the hourly fee and the annual available fee towards the $8.77m figure and if there was any additional fees or revenue that went into it.

I searched limo rates in Wellington and the Limo Club pricing for their fleet show similar cars with an hourly rate of minimum of $295 per hour. I spoke to their operator and we discussed how you could operate at $68 per hour if you had to cover costs. He said it was impossible. Even taking into account their profit margin (which I would assume you don't have to worry about) there seems a massive difference in hourly rates. We'd like to know the following:

Question 6: How many hours did you charge in the 2020 year?

Question 7: How many hours were the Crown limos in use but not charging the hourly rate in the 2020 year? In other words, how many hours were they sitting ready to go but not earning?

Question 8: If you got rid of all the Crown limos or vans or other cars you use (and all the associated costs) and just used limo or taxi services, based on the answer in question 6 would the taxpayer have spent less or more on getting your customers around, and by how much? I guess you can assume $295 per hour for limos and $75 per hour for taxis. Use your 2020 split between Crown cars and taxis/other services to work that out.

Question 9: Has there ever been work done to consider whether it would actually be cheaper or more efficient to get rid of the Crown cars and just use hired limos and taxis? If so, can I please see the report?

Question 10: What do drivers get paid hourly?

Question 11: What are the top 4 things VIP transport pay for annually and how much in 2020?

Full disclosure: I'm working with the TPU on this OIA.

Yours faithfully,

Lional Jones

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From: OIA
Department of Internal Affairs

Tçnâ koe Lional,

Thank you for your OIA request to the Department of Internal Affairs (included with this email)

The Department will provide its response to your request as soon as practicable and within twenty working days.  The 20th working day is 22 June 2021

Please note that in cases where the Department’s response provides information that is identified to be of general public interest, the response may also be published on the Department of Internal Affairs website.  If the Department publishes its response to your OIA request, all personal information, including your name and contact details, will be removed.

Nâku, nâ

Michelle Reed  (she/her)  
Lead Advisor – Official Correspondence
Te Tira Mâtakitaki Governance, Risk & Assurance 
Te Urungi Organisational Strategy and Performance
dia.govt.nz | Facebook

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