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ARC Election - "RatesRebellion-FRESH START"

ARC Election - "RatesRebellion-FRESH START" is NOT connected to RAM-Residents Action Movement.

Information for media from David Thornton

This advisory is in response to several media calls to me as to the relationship of the ARC ‘Regional Ratepayers Rebellion’ to an ARC election ticket known as RAM.

‘RatesRebellion-FRESH START’ is the name of the ‘ticket’ with six candidates standing for election to the Auckland Regional Council.

This team is being confused with another ticket known as RAM – Residents Action Movement.

The Rates Rebellion ticket includes three of the leaders [including myself] of the ‘Regional Ratepayers Rebellion’ campaign which was launched in July last year to fight the huge ARC rate increases announced that month.

In July last year Rates Rebellion launched a petition calling for rates to be reset and over 40,000 signatures were collected in a six-week period.

The Rebellion was backed by more than 50 ratepayer associations around the region and the petition was networked by fax and email

Following the launching of the petition the Ratepayers Rebellion campaign became the rallying point for up to 130,000 ratepayers who withheld all or part of their rates for many months in defiance of the ARC rates demands.

It is widely recognised that the Rebellion campaign was a significant factor leading to the Government announcement last December 12th to make an additional $1.6 billion available for Auckland ’s transport problems.

The campaign was also successful in getting changes made to this year’s rating system with the introduction of a modest business differential into the rating system.

RatesRebellion has pursued the rates issue relentlessly for many months – and is still fighting for justice and equity for ratepayers shortly to face legal action

[A ‘google-search’ using “David+ Thornton ” or “ratepayers+rebellion” will reveal a huge amount of media coverage of the Ratepayers Rebellion, or visit our website www.ratesrebellion.co.nz]

One of the non-ratepayer groups which supported the petition was the Socialist Worker organisation whose spokesman is Grant Morgan. It was this group which later formed RAM with the specific purpose of fighting the next ARC election.

While welcoming the support of the Socialist Worker group – or any other group - in collecting signatures for the petition, the RatesRebellion campaign, which is essentially ‘non-political’ in the general sense, decided it could not support many of the policies of RAM which appeared very left-wing, and were aggressively anti-business.

RatesRebellion organisers, at the request of many ordinary ratepayers, decided it would put up candidates more representative of ordinary ratepayers including small business operators.

‘RatesRebellion-FRESH START’ hopes this note will help to clarify that it is the ‘original’ instigator of the ratepayers rebellion and is not allied to any political party.


2 September 2004

David Thornton

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