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Stingy C&R Council Slashes Community Group Funding

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Thursday 29 May 2008

Stingy C&R Council Slashes Community Group Funding

City Vision-Labour Councillors were appalled and sickened by the hypocrisy of Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) Auckland City Councillors when C&R boasted about paring $80,000 from Council's assistance to community groups on the same day they voted $36million extra for events to celebrate the Rugby World Cup.

Maungakiekie Labour Councillor Richard Northey says, "It is the height of hypocrisy to boast of being prudent stewards of ratepayers' money by depriving volunteers and communities of $80,000 they were entitled to, and then later that day spending almost 500 times as much for dressing up the city and holding celebratory activities for one sporting event, based on one secret report."

Councillor Northey continued, "I am particularly saddened to find in the publicly released Community Services Committee minutes that C&R Councillors had specifically voted against my amendments to provide the recommended funding to support disabled dancers through the Touch Compass Dance Board and disabled musicians through the Starjam Charitable Trust."

City Vision Western Bays Councillor Graeme Easte says, "I am disappointed, but not particularly surprised to see C&R Councillors all voted to slash funding for community organisations representing or working with non-heterosexual Auckland citizens through Body Positive Inc, and Gender Bridge Inc."

City Vision Eden-Albert Councillor Cathy Casey says, "I was pleased that the committee responded to my plea to support the Highland Games but I was very disappointed that, despite the best efforts of City Vision-Labour Councillors, many other migrant groups had their funding slashed including the Auckland Polish Association, Auckland Ethnic Council, Bhartiya Samaj Trust, Burundian Community Group, Ethnic Voice, Migrant Action Trust, Sri Lanka Buddhist Trust, and Telugu Association."

Independent Hauraki Gulf Islands Councillor Denise Roche says "I am disappointed that C&R Councillors in their voting particularly discriminated against groups based in the Gulf as these groups benefit all Aucklanders. Particularly galling are the cuts of $2,000 for the Port Fitzroy Boating Club for their annual mussel festival and $3,000 for Sing Waiheke, a notable women's choir in the Auckland region."

"All Auckland City Councillors talk about the huge benefits to our city of volunteering and of active, passionate and effective community groups. By not investing $80,000 in their community, the C&R neglect will build up much more costly social and community deficits and costs in the long term," Councillor Richard Northey concluded.

ENDS

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