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“A victory for people power”

“A victory for people power”

Marney Ainsworth, spokesperson for the Wake Up Auckland movement, describes the decision by the Government to take over the Auckland City Council housing stock “as a victory for people power”.

“Twelve months ago the ACRN councillors, backed by John Banks wanted to sell the Council houses to the private sector, something they have been trying to do for years.

“Since then, there have been numerous public demonstrations and rallies, a 4000 strong march up Queen St, several petitions containing more than 15,000 names, and nearly 5,000 individual submissions to the Council’s annual plan hearings, plus numerous letters, emails, faxes and phone calls to individual councillors. The Council Housing Action Group was also formed as a special advocacy and action group and supported tenants to organise themselves against the Council decision. In face of this, the Council backed away from selling to the private sector and approached the government.

“Aucklanders do care. Without this huge outpouring of support and activity by ordinary people, today’s announcement would not have been possible. ” Marney Ainsworth said. “The government is to be congratulated for standing strong on the need to retain publicly owned houses for retired and other low income within Auckland City.” she concluded. It is almost twelve months to the day that the ACRN Council and their leader John Banks came to power with only 18% of the electorate behind them.

One of John Bank’s first actions was to get behind the long standing wish of the ACRN to sell off the Council housing stock to the private sector.

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