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All We Want For Christmas...

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Wednesday 14 October 2008

All We Want For Christmas...
Is For The Auckland Santa Parade To March With Falun Gong

Six of the twenty councillors on Auckland City Council today called for Auckland Santa Parade organisers to allow the Falun Gong's Divine Land Marching Band to participate in this year's Santa Parade.  The councillors are:

Councillor Richard Northey (Labour)
Councillor Leila Boyle (Labour)
Councillor Cathy Casey (City Vision)
Councillor Graeme Easte (City Vision)
Councillor Glenda Fryer (City Vision)
Councillor Denise Roche (Independent)

The councillors wrote to Michael Barnett, the Chair of the Santa Parade Trust on 10 September requesting that he accept the application by Falun Gong for their Divine Land Marching Band to participate in the Santa Parade.  Auckland City Council is one of the parade's main financial backers.

Councillor Richard Northey said, "In spite of follow up requests made by me on 16 September, 30 September and 13 October, we have not been informed of any decision on the matter."

"In the spirit of Christmas, we believe that this fine band and active community group deserve inclusion in the parade as they have undertaken not to disseminate any Falun Gong material.  I take part in the Panmure Christmas Parade annually and the Divine Land Marching Band has added to the spectacle and is thoroughly enjoyed by all."

Councillor Cathy Casey said, "The Divine Land Marching Band participated in the Wellington Santa Parade last year and they found out on Monday that they have been accepted again.  I have to wonder what is wrong with the worthy members of the Auckland Santa Parade Board that they seem reluctant to accept this group to add to the wide-ranging festivities of the day."

"I wonder just who Santa's little helpers on the Board are.  It's the best kept secret!" Councillor Casey concluded.

ENDS

Contact:

Councillor Richard Northey        027 247 9662
Councillor Cathy Casey               027 474 4231

Additional Information:

Letter sent from six Auckland City Councillors regarding Santa Parade participation from Falun Gong

Michael Barnett
Chair
Santa Parade Trust

9 September 2008

Dear Michael,

We, the undersigned councillors of Auckland city, support the application of the New Zealand Falun Dafa Association (Inc) to enter their Divine Land Marching Band into the 2008 Auckland Farmers Santa Parade.

The band participated last year in the Wellington Farmers Santa Parade and has successfully participated in parades around the country including the local Christmas parade in Panmure, which several of us attended. 

The President of the New Zealand Falun Dafa Association has provided us (and you) an undertaking that they are willing to abide by any relevant conditions that govern participants in the Parade.  They also undertake that no distribution or dissemination of any Falun Dafa related material will occur at the 2008 Auckland Farmers Santa Parade.

Given these undertakings, and previous promises made to Falun Dafa we trust that you will accept their application this year.

We ask that in the spirit of Christmas, you allow this bona fide community group to participate.

We would appreciate your earliest response.

Yours sincerely

Cr Northey
Cr Boyle
Cr Casey
Cr Fryer
Cr Easte
Cr Roche

PLEASE NOTE:

All City Vision media releases are available on our website www.cityvision.org.nz

ends

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