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Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers

Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers

"Central Government and the Auckland Regional Council are compatible bed-fellows. Wheeling-and-dealing schemes designed to drain dollars and cents from ordinary people even in the face of active protest and petition, are well recorded" said Elaine West, Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers spokesperson.

Ms West's comments refer to central Government's determined drive to give local authority representatives sweeping powers under the Local Government Act while withdrawing funds for much-needed infrastructural projects, and the ARC's willingness to view residential ratepayers as money-bags who must adhere to unreasonable rate demands or face prosecution.

"The Government and ARC ride carte blanche over the wishes of the people they represent. They acted in opposition to the majority of public submissions; make critical decisions without public consent with the promise of more undemocratic decisions to come, and in ARC's case, target victims for prosecution from the 40,000 rates protesters who cry out for representational justice and action in good faith."

Ms West said that she paid the only the same amount of the last rating year plus GST.

"Most people recognise that paying rates per se is not the problem - it is Council's and Government's unacceptable demands. When I receive ARC's final warning letter I intend to drip-feed payment that is, to pay monthly in cheque form and not as a direct debt as Council requires, over good time."

"Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers legal advice is that a court case against the ARC is unlikely to succeed. Having said that however, we will seek support for any martyr who is prosecuted by the Regional Council in the Courts, no matter what their income, age, sex, race or religion. After all, we ratepayers and residents are left unprotected by the current political system - so it's our task to look out for one another - not just in Auckland but across New Zealand."

"Abraham Lincoln said in what is seen as a landmark speech summarising democratic values - that government is 'of the people, by the people, for the people.' Here in New Zealand with our unhappy population, we have government "for the people, to the people, at the people".

"It would seem that the Auckland Regional Council wants to make martyrs of people when all that people want is justice, without martyrdom."

Ms West said that residents and ratepayers can contact her on info@elainewest.co.nz, 09360 2771, or PO Box 147-107 Ponsonby, Auckland

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