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"We're not JAFAs"

March 26, 2006

"We're not JAFAs"

Tauranga people have been quick to give the nod to the Bay of Plenty celebrating it's own holiday rather than sharing Auckland Anniversary Day.

Businessman Jim Smylie is conducting a joint survey with The Weekend Sun newspaper to assess local opinion.

"We live in a vibrant, growing region with its own identity. It's time we celebrate that."

And so far more than 75 percent of survey respondents agree with him.

"The Bay's own celebration would give us an opportunity to celebrate its unique features. It would be an opportunity to consider ways of retaining and enhancing everything that is best in the area," one respondent wrote.

Others were more blunt. "We are not a part of Auckland so why should we celebrate on their day? I'm not a JAFA."

The online survey, which is running for another three weeks, shows that just over half of people also favour moving the holiday to another time of the year.

To participate in the online survey, visit www.thesun.co.nz and register your name and email address.

Currently Auckland Anniversary Day is celebrated on the last Monday in January.

Both Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby and MP Bob Clarkson have thrown their weight behind the campaign and are watching the poll results with interest.

Mayor Crosby says he supports the proposal to seek a name change from Auckland Anniversary Day.

"While I acknowledge our past history and how we became to celebrate the holiday in the first place, Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty are now a major force in the population base and the economy of New Zealand. Let's celebrate who we are in all of our diversity."

ENDS

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