Council forced to reschedule meeting
February 28, 2002
The Auckland City Council was forced to adjourn its scheduled February meeting tonight as unruly protestors overcrowded the council chamber and prevented the meeting from starting.
Mayor John Banks said afterwards that he had received personal threats and felt his safety, and the safety of his councillors, was threatened by the actions and verbal abuse of the protestors.
Close to 100 people jammed the chamber, exceeding the room’s maximum seating capacity of 60, according to health and safety advice taken by the council.
Mr Banks, who refused to enter the chamber in the face of “abusive and disgusting” behaviour, later told a media conference he would not conduct council business under such unacceptable circumstances.
He said an offer of another room with a sound system to follow the meeting was rejected by the protestors.
Deputy Mayor David Hay said the meeting would be rescheduled in order to conduct the business that had been delayed and efforts would be made to accommodate larger crowds.