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Where Is The Democracy?

Authorised by Gary Osborne Spokesman Residents and Ratepayers, Henderson Ward 48 Jaemont Ave, Te Atatu South

On Monday 20 September a public meeting was held to hear Residents & Ratepayers, Henderson Ward candidates endorsed by TARRA, speak to the public and make themselves available for questioning by the public afterwards. A man who identified himself as a heckler said, shortly after the chairman had explained the procedure and the meeting had begun, "I wish to speak." He was politely told to sit down. Again, he said he wished to speak. The chairman then politely reiterated the ground rules and once again explained the procedure. For a third time, the man said he wished to speak and began walking towards the front of the hall. He was then rather forcefully requested to "sit down", "get out", "let the meeting proceed" etc. He then announced "I am the Mayor" to which someone replied "Then start behaving like one." Eventually, reluctantly, he then agreed to abide by the rules which everyone else present, including a number of candidates not endorsed by TARRA, appeared to have understood.

During the course of the meeting he described the speaking candidates as "nothing but toads on a vengeance mission" -- he referred to one candidate as "devious".

As one candidate and his wife entered the hall he muttered "here's a couple of losers." When one candidate introduced herself and said she had a cold and would have difficulty speaking he called out "Good."

When another elderly candidate said he was not likely to be around in 20 years, once again "The Mayor" called out "Good."

The comfort for all of us, as candidates, is knowing that we are in very large company when we put ourselves into the category of those who have been on the receiving end of Bob Harvey's gratuitous insults.


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