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RAM media release 17.9.04

Fri, 17 Sep 2004

RAM media release 17.9.04

Practical extension of democracy at ARC promised by RAM

"RAM ­ Resident's Action Movement is promoting Citizen¹s Assemblies to give citizens a direct voice at the Auckland Regional Council," said Robyn Hughes, a RAM candidate in the Manukau ARC election.

"A RAM-led ARC will convene Citizen's Assemblies around transport, rates and the environment. These interactive forums will be based on the ARC forming strategic alliances with a broad array of citizen's groups, such as Greypower, sports clubs and religious faiths. These practical steps to extend democracy are unique to RAM," said Robyn Hughes.

"People are heartily sick of the ARC's consultation sham. Last year, 78% of people who responded to the ARC's rates consultation said they did not want the business differential axed. Their majority message was lost on most ARC councillors who voted against a business differential, which was the main reason behind astronomical rises in 2003-04 home rates. That is not the sort of democracy most people want, as the Rates Revolt so plainly showed."

"There is wide support for the sort of democracy that RAM is pledging in our Manifesto. By forming strategic alliances with citizen's groups and convening Citizen's Assemblies around important issues, RAM is offering a democratic dialogue rather than the present ARC's bureaucratic consultation," said Robyn Hughes.

"Since RAM is fielding the biggest ticket in the ARC election, with eight candidates across North Shore, Auckland, Manukau and Franklin-Papakura, there's every chance that the next ARC will have a RAM majority. Then the concept of democracy for more than one day in three years would come to life at the ARC."


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