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Auckland Public Assets Threatened By Banks Council

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Wednesday 17 September 2008

Auckland's Public Assets Threatened By Banks' Council

City Vision-Labour Councillors are deeply concerned that Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) Councillors have paved the way for taking key Council activities and assets out of Council's democratic control by establishing a holding company which would be run by appointed external commercial interests.

Councillor Cathy Casey says, "This has been sprung on the Auckland public. While there was some prior discussion about a holding company for the airport shares, there has no warning to the public that this is coming for other council activities and assets. This is will be a shock to the people of Auckland who still remember the sales of Auckland Airport shares and pensioner housing under the last Banks-led C&R Council."

Councillor Richard Northey said, "The holding company would have a commercial focus which may lead to increased Zoo entrance fees, the end of free entry to the Art Gallery, no more free library membership and books, and free access to wharves and parks."

"Successive councils under all political persuasions have recognised that these activities should be carried out in an effective, efficient, business-like way but both the left and the right have recognised that it is in the best interests for the public of Auckland that they remain in control of democratically elected Councillors. Up until now, councillors have recognised that these services and assets are owned and operated for the public good and it is vital that they remain under the direct control of councillors who are elected by, and accountable to, the people of Auckland," Councillor Northey concluded.

ENDS

Additional Information:

The Fiannce and Strategy Committee report titled "Establishment of a holding company" (item 13 on the Wednesday 17 September agenda) is available here: http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/members/committeemeetings/finance/20080917_0930/FSC%2D17092008%2DOPN%2DAGD%2D%2313.pdf

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