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Group Calls Citizens to Action

Group Calls Citizens to Action

A group of New Zealanders have launched a campaign to maximise the impact of objections to anti-democratic privileges built into Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan (“PAUP”).

Democracy Action has organised a meeting on 18 October for objectors to pool information and get better prepared to submit to the Hearing Panel. Democracy Action is a grass-roots association formed to stem the erosion of Aotearoa’s democratic inheritance.

It sees the PAUP provisions, and the process under which they are in effect already, when many if not most Councillors do not even know how far they go, or what they mean, as the most pressing example of a loss of understanding of the principles of democracy and equality of citizenship in New Zealand.

Democracy Action founder, Lee Short says:

“Elected Councillors seem to have been led by the nose. Shane Jones denounced the PAUP provisions for the Labour Party when they emerged, but since then there has been silence from others who should be leading on the issue. So ordinary people like me have to call for adherence to simple and fundamental democratic rights and traditions.”

“The attacks on democracy may be well-intentioned, but we’ve never been asked and there is no mandate for this to happen. No Aucklander has had a chance to vote on this shift away from equality before the law. We understand that many of the elected councillors were unaware of precisely what was happening.”

This public meeting responds to the Auckland Council’s Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP). The PAUP ‘Mana Whenua’ provisions may require, for example, ‘cultural impact assessments’ for certain resource consents within 50 meters of what is currently thought to be around 3,600 sites in Auckland.

“It is called ‘Proposed’ but it came into force as law the day it was notified. That is a disgrace in a democracy. It’s making law by decree but pretending that it is only a proposal.”

“It will allow Mana Whenua access to private land, charge for Cultural Impact Assessments without control, and gives them priority in water resource allocation,”says Mr Short.

The details will be explored at a public meeting at 1pm, 18 October at Auckland’s Aotea Centre. Confirmed speakers include Sir Bob Jones, and constitutional lawyer Stephen Franks.

MEETING DETAILS:

When: October 18, 2014 at 1pm-4pm
Where: Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

The public are encouraged to RSVP at: http://www.democracyaction.org.nz/paup_meeting

ends

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