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Auckland suggestion to scrap votes abhorrent

Media release March 2nd, 2001

Auckland suggestion to scrap ratepayer votes abhorrent

The Employers & Manufacturers Association is angry at suggestions by Auckland City staff that 24,000 non-resident ratepayers should not be allowed to vote at the local government elections on November 13th.

"We understand Auckland City staff have recommended the scrapping of votes for these ratepayers," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"We totally reject such a proposal.

"Auckland City has over 24,000 non-residential ratepayers registered. This is the number of properties all entitled to have a vote cast in the local elections on their behalf.

"The Council staff wants them disenfranchised apparently on the grounds that only 1000 of them are currently registered to vote and because each of their votes costs about $45 to administer.

"This is disgraceful. All property ratepayers should be automatically enrolled in the same way that individual residential ratepayers are automatically enrolled to vote.

"Business property owners pay some 55 per cent of Auckland City's rates so the council's proposal is also extraordinarily arrogant.

"We urge Auckland City councillors to make their position clear on this issue.

"We also urge other councils to make sure all non-resident ratepayers know they have the right to vote."

Further comment: tel Alasdair Thompson 09 303 3951 (hme) 025 982 024

© Scoop Media

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