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Include The Forgotten Suburbs, Says RAM

RAM media release 27.5.05

Include The Forgotten Suburbs, Says RAM

"It's great that Mayor Hubbard has a serious message about protecting Auckland City's historic communities and that the Council aims to introduce sweeping changes to the District Plan to reflect this important move" says Elaine West, a representative of RAM ­ Residents Action Movement.

"Now that the Mayor has opened Council doors to official cultural community protection, we want him to apply these same rules to communities where the majority of people live."

Ms West says that most people cannot afford to live in Council-protected suburbs such as St Mary's Bay, Herne Bay, Remuera, and Mt Eden. Or put another way, most people live outside the cultural community protection Residential 1 and 2 zones."

"When the previous Council threatened to build an Eastern Corridor Motorway, people living in Remuera, Parnell, Glen Innes, Mt Wellington, and Panmure ­ and who were in the path of that Motorway - were very outspoken in saving their respective communities."

"It now seems that Remuera and Parnell may be given added protection and funding ­ to keep the 'unannounced bulldozers' away, but other communities have been forgotten."

"I recall a Council meeting last year when two community groups appealed to Council to save their neighbourhood from the ravages of the bulldozer and the construction of unappealing and out-of-character apartment buildings."

"One group from Grey Lynn spoke of the City's early built heritage being lost as period housing was knocked down and replaced by box-like, multi-storeyed apartments. Another group from Panmure said that their community housing reflected the 1960s period and for that reason alone was unique in itself and worthy of preservation."

"It is RAM's view that cultural communities outside the gentrified fields of Residential Zones 1 and 2 have not been given a fair deal ­ and have become the forgotten communities."

"A fair deal would see that the forgotten communities be considered as having the same cultural significance, the same official protection, the same amount of money, and the same resources as the heritage and green-leaf suburbs."

Elaine West says: "RAM offers its services to people in the forgotten communities, and will help them organise efforts so that they can get the same fair deal."

ENDS

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