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C&R Shuts Down Community Participation

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

Tuesday 7 October 2008

C&R Shuts Down Community Participation

At Auckland City Council's Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) Direction Setting meeting today, City Vision-Labour Councillors fought hard to retain important community fora which enable the diverse voices of Auckland to have a say in the Council budget process. Unfortunately they were unable to convince the majority Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) grouping who voted against Councillor Leila Boyle's resolution to retain the youth, Pacific Island Ministers, Union, Gay, Lesbian and transgender fora.

Labour Councillor Leila Boyle said, "C&R Councillors are shutting out the vibrant, distinct and diverse voices of our young people and Pacifika populations. These are vital and unique voices and Council should facilitate hearing them rather than deliberately shutting them out. The youth and Pacifika fora have had up to 140 people attend in previous years. Hearing these voices is an incredibly important part of the Council's budget process, particularly as we are setting Council's direction and spending over the next ten year period."

Labour Councillor Richard Northey said "I am extremely disappointed that my resolution for Council to spend at least one day of its hearings in a community setting was block voted down by C&R. Many ordinary community groups in the suburbs have said they are intimidated by coming into downtown Auckland to the Town Hall and it is vital that Councillors hear from these community voices in their own setting."

City Vision Councillor Cathy Casey said, "I have always found the youth forums the most exciting to attend as the young people of Auckland communicate their concerns and needs passionately and articulately. Auckland City Youth Council's presentation to the Council is always exciting and informative. I am extremely disappointed that C&R have opted not to allow the Youth Council to host their usual forum."

City Vision Councillor Graeme Easte said, "I was extremely disappointed in the attitude of C&R Councillors; rather than actively going out to the community to seek input, they think it is ok to just ask people to write or email in rather than participating in a face-to-face process."

City Vision Councillor Glenda Fryer said, "I am disturbed that the union forum has been discontinued. Including the voices of workers in our city is incredibly important to our decision-making as C&R are proposing substantial cuts to Council programmes and services."

ENDS

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