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PSA Alarmed at privatisation proposal

PSA MEDIA RELEASE September 18, 2008

PSA Alarmed at Auckland City Council privatisation proposal

The Public Service Association is alarmed at a proposal that could lead to the privatisation of Auckland City's libraries, parks, swimming pools, art gallery and zoo.

The NZ Herald says the Auckland City Council has produced a report suggesting council assets such as libraries, parks, swimming pools, the art gallery and zoo could be placed in the control of a holding company run by businessmen instead of elected city councillors.

"We are alarmed to read about this privatisation proposal and have asked the council for a copy of the report," says Brenda Pilott, National Secretary of the PSA which has around 500 members at Auckland City Council.

"The union is totally opposed to any move to privatise community assets like libraries, parks and pools that Auckland City residents have paid for through their rates," says Brenda Pilott

"Handing control of these assets to a holding company run by businessmen will spell the end of free access to Auckland City's libraries, parks and the art gallery."

"Auckland City residents pay for these facilities through their rates and will end up paying a user charge as well if they're privatised," says Brenda Pilott.

Brenda Pilott says Auckland City staff and councillors work hard to ensure that the city's community assets are well run and user friendly.

"Any suggestion that the private sector is better equipped to run public assets and services has no credibility when there's a major crisis in the world's financial markets because they've been badly managed."

"Why put our public services at risk through privatisation when New Zealand's public services, at a national and local level, are among the best in the world," says Brenda Pilott.


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