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Super City Debate to Occur Behind Closed Doors

Media Release City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council For Immediate Release

Thursday 3 April 2008

*Councillors' Super City Debate to Occur Behind Closed Doors*

Debate on the controversial Auckland City Council officers' proposed governance structure unveiled on Monday has been deferred from today's open Regional Governance Committee meeting to a confidential councillors workshop to be held next Thursday 10 April.

Despite City Vision-Labour councillors arguing strongly for the debate to be held in public, the Committee – consisting of Mayor John Banks, and Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) Councillors David Hay, Doug Armstrong and Aaron Bhatnagar – voted to hold the debate in a closed workshop.

"This decision to hold this really important debate in hiding flies in the face of John Banks and C&R's repeated claims of transparency and openness at Auckland City Council," says Councillor Cathy Casey.

"Aucklanders deserve to hear their elected representatives' real opinions of the proposed structure – it is not acceptable to have a debate behind closed doors and then present a sanitised version at the Council meeting the following week. People should demand the Regional Governance Committee allow public attendance at this workshop.

"John Banks launched his mayoral campaign by saying that he promised to promote 'openness and accountability'. Where is the 'openness and accountability' in a closed shop discussion? What is he afraid of?"

The officers' super city structure is intended to form the basis of Auckland City Council's submission to the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance. City Vision-Labour councillors urge people to contact their local councillors and voice their concerns before the plan goes any further and to also make individual submissions to the Royal Commission by 4pm on Tuesday 22 April.

The Royal Commission's website: www.royalcommission.govt.nz

Online submissions to Royal Commission: www.royalcommission.govt.nz/RCSUB.nsf/SUBMISSION?OpenForm

Auckland City Council officers' report: * www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/members/committeemeetings/regional/a20080 403.asp *

*Upcoming events – timeline:*

- 3 April, 1.30pm, Regional Governance Committee received the officers' report, requested further information and sent the discussion to a closed Councillors Workshop - 10 April, 3pm, Auckland City Councillors to meet in closed workshop to discuss the officers' report - 17 April, 6pm, Auckland City Council to meet to receive and discuss the Regional Governance Committee's recommendations - 22 April, 4pm, Submissions due to the Royal Commission

ENDS

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