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Campaign for One Auckland a must

Media release Monday, August 13th, 2001

Campaign for One Auckland a must

One administration for the Auckland region with a single elected council, and possibly several elected 'community councils' for very local decision making purposes, is an objective local business would wholeheartedly support, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"The One Auckland concept has many huge advantages going for it from the point of view of both business and the community, " said EMA's chief executive Alasdair Thompson.

"The big issues for Auckland such as transport, planning and other infrastructure in general are better dealt with through a single authority.

"Congratulations to the editorial in today's Herald's for listing some of them.

"When we surveyed our members on the same topic some months ago the result overwhelmingly supported the idea.

"People are naturally concerned about their property values. Those in high property value areas have always opposed amalgamations of local councils on the grounds they would end up subsidising lower property value areas.

"This doesn't have to happen. Issues of the sort can be worked around.

"Rates devices such as those to determine 'local areas of benefit' can be implemented, and/or the revenues to be raised from amalgamating areas can be stabilised at their pre amalgamation levels.

"The Prime Minister has said she is relaxed about the concept provided concerns over community participation are addressed. This could be resolved through, perhaps, devolving some One Auckland powers to an enlarged and empowered 'community council' structure.

"The EMA will be identifying and promoting local election candidates who are prepared to encompass the wider vision for a One Auckland concept."

Comments: Alasdair Thompson tel 09 367 0911 (b) 09 303 3951 (h) 025 982 024

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