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March And Motorcade to Keep Te Atatu South Library

Citizens Against Privatisation
Phone 09 836 6389

Press Statement

March And Motorcade to Keep Te Atatu South Library Open.

3.15PM WED 22nd February 2006


Waitakere City Council is doing shady deals with UNITEC to build them a library at their new campus in Henderson, Waitakere at the expense of the community at Te Atatu South who will lose their local library. The council is funding this new library but UNITEC will be controlling it and running it. They have already stated their intention to charge user-pays for the library carpark. The closure of Te Atatu South library has met with widespread opposition. Thousands have signed petitions and submissions, the Henderson community board has recommended the library stays open and Chris Carter MP has petitioned the council. Before Christmas a packed public meeting of over 150 residents urged the council to reconsider. Concillor Assid Corban tabled a motion to keep the library opened before Christmas. The public gallery was packed and the council was presented with the findings of a survey conducted by the NZEI (primary school teachers union) and a personal petition by Jeanne Biddulph eminent educational researcher who has advised the Ministry of Education (the survey and submission appear as attachments above). The council, in their arrogance, again voted to close the library. This makes a farce of the intentions of the local government act in terms of meaningful consultation. The library has been purposely rundown and had its hours reduced as a means of justifying the closure. Bob Harvey and his Teamwest group have recently voted to privatise techscape (the ex council works dept) have supported user-pays for waste water, proposed user-pays for inorganic rubbish, attempted to sell off their pensioner housing stock and now wish to close this library.


A meeting of around 50 residents and reps of community groups met at Kelston community centre last Thursday. The meeting was convened by C.A.P. The proposal for the march was endorsed by all present. Grey Power, NZEI, Te Atatu Ratepayers, Chris Carter MP and others.

Residents will Rally outside the Te Atatu South library at 3.15pm. We are encouraging parents to bring their children to the library when they pick them up after school. Local schools are supporting the campaign. March organisers, including the NZEI, are asking children to dress up as their favourite story book characters. Prizes will be given for the best costumes.

Some people will be marching; others including the more elderly participants will drive in procession in decorated cars. There will also be a free bus available for those without transport who can not march.

The march will proceed along Edmonton Rd and converge on the Waitakere City Council offices at about 5pm. People who are working or can not join the march can go straight to the council offices from 5pm onwards. Some older teenagers have said they intend skateboarding the entire route, says Meredydd Barrar CAP spokesperson.

This is the last council meeting before they enter into the annual plan process. This gives Waitakere council another opportunity to reconsider the closure. This community will tolerate nothing less than a full library service for Te Atatu South. This is a well established urban community and deserves the same service as other areas of the city . It is about time Cllr Penny Hulse, Caroline Stone , Ross Dellow and others listened to our community instead of being lead by the nose by politically motivated officials.

The meeting at Kelston was outraged when they heard from Henderson Community Board member Elizabeth Grimmer that only 30 mins free parking would be provided at the new library in Henderson after which a $1:00 charge will be levied and more charges after the first hour.

How on earth can old people and parents with children be expected to park, browse, choose books and read magazines etc in half an hour before incurring charges, this is an outrage .

Also we believe UNITEC has virtual control of this library, so who knows what other charges are to follow. The interests of Te Atatu South residents are being sacrificed while the council is making deals with this institution.


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