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Open Letter To Auckland City Council

10 Warnock Street
Grey Lynn
13 July 2001
Bryan Taylor
Chief Executive Officer
Auckland City Council
Civic Administration Building
Greys Ave

Cc Rob Clow,
Enforcement Officer, Auckland City Council
35 Graham St, Auckland

Open Letter to Bryan Taylor, CEO, and Rob Clow, Enforcement Officer - Auckland City Council
re Protest Signs at 10 Warnock Street
-to be delivered by a Water Pressure Group delegation, Friday morning, July 13-

Dear Mr Taylor,

I refer you to all my previous correspondence with you and Mr Rob Clow, which you appear to be unable to understand. Have you actually read it? Yourself?

Your latest letter to me, dated 10 July 2001,“seeks my cooperation to have this matter resolved amicably”. You have some nerve, Mr Taylor, who holds all the powers of your office, that you want to misuse to enforce political censorship, to preach amicability to me!

The solution is easy, Mr Taylor. Read your own bylaw. The Central Library has it. You’ve fooled only yourself with your self-serving paraphrase of it (see your letters of June 19, 27, 28).

You’re threatening to use powers of entry to my home, and, as practicable no doubt, destruction, theft, or removal of my property (Local Government Act 1974 - ss692, 708A), to enforce your blatant abuse of a bylaw unequivocally designed ‘to limit advertising in residential zones’ (s27.5, Signs in Residential Zones - Objective – A.C.C. Consolidated Bylaw 1998, p25).

This bylaw is designed to regulate (dirty word) signage in residential areas which “advertise[s] a lawful use of the site, [on that site], advertising only products or services available [there]” - (s27.5.1). Your s27.5.4 and s27.5.5 clearly relate to the overall Objective stated above in s27.5. Protest signs, and “free standing protest signs” are mentioned nowhere.

Your latest letter claims to “appreciate” my “views with regard to signs on private property”. No you don’t, Mr Taylor, because they’re not ‘my views’, they’re your bylaw, which expressly fails to“authorise” you ‘to remove works” under which are NOT“executed contrary to” it.
It’s a bylaw for our protection, Mr Taylor, against commercialisation of our suburbs, not for the Council’s protection against its own citizens’ enraged lawful passive protests. My signs aren’t commercial. Our water is.

You’ve been holding me and my family hostage for a week now. I’ve had to lose time at work, with consequent loss of income for my family, which we can’t afford. My children have been losing the enjoyment of school holidays. My extended family and friends, neighbours, Water Pressure Group members and other ordinary citizens from far and wide have rallied willingly, at personal cost, to defend my protest signs that they too claim as their own. Your threats have turned my home into a fully defended, assault-ready battleground.

How dare you, who are employed by our Council supposedly to serve our interests as the residents of this city, hijack our lives, our livelihoods, and our enjoyment of them like this?

Let’s get this straight. You don’t like my protest signs. They embarrass the Auckland City Council. They embarrass some Councillors especially, who have said so. They’re supposed to. It’s called ‘freedom of expression’ in the Act of Parliament called ‘The Bill of Rights’, which is superior in law to an Auckland City Council bylaw (supposing it was relevant). This is the opinion of the Human Rights Commission, as you’ve been informed (my letter, 1 July).

For up to 30 months my signs have been welcomed by neighbouring residents, suffering together from unaffordable user pays water services. Some also voted for the Reverend Doctor Bruce Hucker and Penny Sefuiva, as local ward councillors, on the strength of their (betrayed) pledges and promises to work to abolish Metrowater. No Council officers have approached me to complain about my protest signs in all that time.

You act on behalf of a City Council which has stolen our water services and sold them to its own private company, Metrowater Ltd, and apparently expects its constituents to ‘cooperate’ not only with this rip-off, but with threats of force and intimidation issued in abuse of your own laws. And to be re-elected without protest!

On 4 July 2001, I served a Trespass Notice on you, Mr Taylor. Your have no powers of entry under s708A, LGA 1974 (your letter, 10 July) because your bylaw fails. So you can be deemed to commit trespass if you force your way into my home. You don’t have your new Local Government Act with its pure powers yet, only the inconveniently detailed old LGA. Your competence is entirely questionable.

You’ve ignored my formal complaint in writing to you on 2 July 2001 that your Notice to Remove Sign(s) is invalid. Are you going to continue to compound your errors of judgement? Read your bylaw and think again.

Yours faithfully

Ike Finau

© Scoop Media

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