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Mayor Invites Residents To Ride On His Rugby Supporters Bus
North Shore City’s Mayor George Wood has hired a bus to take his own load of North Harbour rugby supporters to the semi-final NPC game on Saturday night.

The mayor and mayoress will be leading a 45-strong mayoral support party bus to the game between North Harbour and Auckland at Eden Park. He is offering local residents the chance to join him and get a free return ride to the game on a first come-first served basis.

"My bus will be one of a number going from our city. I think this is a great opportunity for us all to really show support for our rugby team. It’s a great achievement to get to the semi-final and we need to have as many people there as possible cheering them on to victory," he says.

Mayor Wood says anyone wanting a ride on his mayoral bus will have to collect a special mayoral rugby supporter bus ticket from the council’s third floor head office reception to secure their seat. "There is only a limited number of seats so they will be allocated on a first come-first served basis," he says. The tickets will be available from Wednesday morning. Anyone riding on the bus will have to buy their own ticket to the rugby game itself in advance.

"I’ve told Mayor Christine Fletcher that I’m leading the charge to get as many people there as possible to dampen the home advantage Auckland will have," he says. "We thrashed Auckland there last year. And Buck, Frano and the boys can do it again," says Mayor Wood.

Beach Warning Signs Erected After Sewage Flows
Beach bathing warning signs have been erected as a precaution at St Leonards, Milford, Castor Bay and Mairangi Bay beaches in North Shore City.

Heavy rainfall caused overflows from 16 pumping stations.

Water quality testing will be carried out and the council will assess whether beaches are clear. Test results will be advised as soon as they are available.

North Shore Mayor Wants Minister To Keep His Word
North Shore City’s Mayor George Wood is angry that party political pointscoring looks set to cost his residents a grandstand view from the HMNZS Tamaki land in Devonport of the America’s Cup and Millennium celebrations

Mayor Wood says he is astounded at the actions of Conservation Minister Nick Smith who has now directly linked public access to the clifftop defence land with the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Bill for which Labour withdrew its support last month. This has delayed the passing of the Bill.

"This parliamentary spat looks likely to cost the people of Auckland and New Zealand dearly. It seems the public won’t now get access to the land over the America’s Cup and the Millennium period. The Minister originally promised he was going to fast-track the opening up of the vantage point for us," says Mayor Wood.

Mr Wood says that his council has by implication been put in an invidious position over this issue. "We’ve been caught in the middle of this pre-election pointscoring over the Bill and the Hauraki Gulf marine park," he says.

Mayor Wood says he has no desire to be drawn into a party political debate. He was dumbfounded when access to a 2.7ha strip of the Tamaki land was linked to the new Bill.

"We are insistent that all 11ha of this defence land at HMNZS Tamaki is public reserve so we didn’t support the inclusion of merely the 2.7ha coastal strip. We believe all the land is part of our heritage, to be enjoyed by all New Zealanders," he says.

"We will not compromise the future of the whole reserve and the Minister knows that," he says. "He must have known he was putting his promise in jeopardy when he tied up public access in that Bill," he says.

"My council believed the public would get access to the vantage point for the America’s Cup and Millennium period. We acted in good faith. Now we find that a public political spat not of our making will cost our residents the opportunity for a grandstand view.

"I feel that the Minister of Conservation can still keep his word and open the land to the public," says Mayor Wood.

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