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Auditor-General releases ‘scathing’ report into Auckland University’s $5m house purchase



a house with trees in the background: The house was the most expensive on the shortlist of three.


© RNZ/Checkpoint
The house was the most expensive on the shortlist of three.

The University of Auckland has been slammed by the Auditor-General for the controversial purchase of a $5 million house for its Vice-Chancellor.

The university bought the house in the inner-city suburb of Parnell as a home for incoming vice-chancellor Dawn Freshwater in November 2019, and would also be used for “business-related operations, and functions”.

The purchase of the four-bedroom, 338 square metres property was criticised as “absolutely disgusting” by NZ Union of Student Associations president Isabella Lenihan-Ikin, who compared it to the houses students are known to rent.

“I think there’s a difference between buying a house for Vice-Chancellor and buying $5 million mansions,” she told Checkpoint.

The Auditor General’s office launched an investigation into the “unusual purchase”, the results of which were released in a report on Wednesday.

It

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Lawmakers want US Army to quicken purchase of Arctic-capable vehicles

WASHINGTON — Senate appropriators want the Army to move more quickly to buy vehicles capable of operating in the Arctic, according to its version of the fiscal 2021 defense spending bill released Nov. 10.

“The committee encourages the Secretary of the Army to pursue equipment and vehicles necessary for Arctic and cold weather environments,” bill language stated.

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subpanel is adding $8.25 million above the president’s FY21 defense budget request for a family of cold weather vehicles in order to speed up procurement.

Focus on the Arctic has increased in recent years as sea ice is receding at 13 percent per decade, opening up economic opportunities but also competition as Russia continues to project power into the Arctic region and China looks to capitalize on investment in minerals, natural gas, ocean fisheries and trade there.

The Defense Subcommittee also wants the Army, no later than 60

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Lightsource bp announces a 1.4GW global purchase agreement with Array Technologies

Advanced Solar Tracker Technology + Software to be deployed across Lightsource bp’s newly developed worldwide solar portfolio

LONDON, Nov. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lightsource bp has entered into a purchase agreement with Array Technologies (NASDAQ:ARRY) that will supply Lightsource bp’s newly developed solar portfolio of 1.4GW across the world with DuraTrack® HZ v3 single-axis solar trackers equipped with plant optimizing SmarTrack™ technology.

Once constructed and connected, this newly added solar capacity will generate enough combined renewable electricity to power over 266,000 households.

Lightsource bp, a global leader in development and management of solar energy projects, expects the agreement to supply and optimize this portfolio of solar power generation projects across growing energy markets worldwide, including the United States, Australia, and Spain.

DuraTrack HZ v3 is a market-leading utility-scale solar tracker that offers over 7% lower lifetime costs for asset owners, as well as 31% lower lifetime operations and

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