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Likely conflict at ARC meeting this Monday

Fri, 04 Mar 2005

Likely conflict at ARC meeting this Monday

Likely conflict over rates policy at crucial ARC meeting this Monday

This coming Monday, 7th March, will see the Auckland Regional Council's most crucial meeting on disputed rates policies.

This ARC meeting has been specially called by ARC chair Mike Lee. He and his centre-left supporters look likely to move a business differential only a fraction above the existing ratio of 1.5.

"If this happens, it would consolidate the rates injustices of the past, and therefore buy stiff opposition from RAM," said RAM organiser Grant Morgan. "The ARC's ruling centre-left faction has been warned that RAM will continue to advocate for rates justice. We will not be muzzled."

MEETING DETAILS * Starts 1.30pm on Monday, 7th March. * Committee Room No. 1, Ground Floor, ARC headquarters, 21 Pitt St. THIS MEETING IS OPEN TO THE MEDIA.

"According to the ARC's own detailed modelling, a business differential only slightly higher than the existing ratio of 1.5 will go nowhere near returning home rates to around 2003 levels," said Grant Morgan. "Justice requires ARC home rates to be returned to near what they were before the astronomical rises of up to 600% imposed in 2003."

"RAM calls on the ARC's centre-left councillors, who promised 'fair rates' in their election campaigns, to support the proposal by RAM councillor Robyn Hughes for a business differential of close to 5. That's the level needed to deliver rates justice to homeowners. It's a moderate policy when you look at North Shore City's differential of 9.35. And nobody accuses North Shore mayor George Wood of being a radical."

"Unless the centre-left supports RAM's proposal, the Rates Revolt will continue to haunt Mike Lee's ARC, just like it did his dumped predecessor Gwen Bull," said Grant Morgan.

"RAM questions why this most crucial of ARC meetings has been called with the absolute minimum of public notice. Why is RAM having to do the ARC's job and notify the media of the huge importance of Monday's meeting? It leaves the ARC open to the charge that a ruling group wants to push through a hotly disputed differential policy without any media scrutiny," said Grant Morgan.


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