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Call to halt sale

MEDIA RELEASE
19.3.04
Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers

“We call on central Government to take immediate steps to prevent the Ports of Auckland selling Westhaven and Hobson West Marinas and any PoA properties. The will of Parliament can change the law and put a stop to this unforgivable action by the PoA authorities” said Elaine West, Auckland City Residents and Ratepayer’s spokesperson.

“At least Aucklanders know that a Member of Parliament has thrown his hat into the political arena and declared his Party’s stand against the PoA sales programme. He is also confronting the Local Govt Minister Chris Carter with legal issues connected to the sale of PoA property.” Ms West was referring to the dynamic speech recently presented in Parliament by New Zealand First MP Dail Jones when he challenged all political parties to get pro-active and to join efforts to stop the sale of PoA marinas and land.

“Mr Jones presented a fresh legal perspective in contradiction to the 2004 Palmer Report and has placed serious doubt upon the PoA’s legitimate right to sell land with specific references to Section 6 and Section 27 of the Ports Company Act 1988 and the 1998 Court decision in the case of Westhaven Marina ”

Ms West believes that every Member of Parliament and every Auckland local body politician should be leaping up and down protesting the pending sale and loss of an environmental and social asset so dear to Auckanders’ hearts.

The Government can use The Duynhoven Strategy and urgently create an Act of Parliament halting the sale of the Marinas and if necessary, place an injunction immediately on the PoA’s marina sales.”

“And what would happen if Aucklanders were to get their city’s waterfront back again? An idea that people find increasingly appealing is the creation of a regional park within the city. Auckland City does not have a regional park as other districts in the region. Yet Auckland City pays ARC rates that contribute to regional parks.

Now visualise a waterfront regional-city park with trees, walkways, fountains, sculptures and a beautiful arts building or two designed by New Zealanders, with New Zealanders in mind - linking our beloved Waitemata Harbour with the land.

The marinas and waterfront properties tipped for PoA sale have the potential to become one of New Zealand’s premier regional parks - funded initially by a forward thinking Government and placed under the guardianship of Auckland Regional Council.”

Elaine West said “The Prime Minister sleeps while Rome burns. Actions speak volumes and inaction is remembered.

We call on Government to stop the PoA sale of property assets that should be in the hands of the people who for more than 100 years were rightful owners with stewardship placed under Auckland Harbour Board administration.

The people of Auckland added economic, social, environmental and inherent emotional value to the harbour and Ports – all beyond measure yet quite recently sold by politicians from under our feet. It is time political leaders stepped in and took control back.

Politicians must - Speak out! Take action and represent Aucklanders in their bid to hold harbour and Port properties in public hands – for a regional park, for our children’s pleasure, and for our safe-keeping. ”

ENDS

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