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Challenge goes out to Michael Barnett

Newmarket Business Association

Monday 16 October 2006

Challenge goes out to Michael Barnett

The Auckland Chamber of Commerce's Michael Barnett is being promised a free return trip to Valencia to watch the 2007 America's Cup if he can come up with a better slogan for Auckland than 'City of Sails'

"If Michael Barnett can come up with a slogan that has greater Auckland buy-in than 'City of Sails,' I will personally buy him plane tickets to Spain next year. I am convinced Michael won't take up the challenge because he knows he can't do better," said head of the Newmarket Business Association, Cameron Brewer, today.

The challenge comes after Mr Barnett said the 25-year-old slogan "no longer reflects the region or its people" and should be dumped.

The Newmarket Business Association then last week conducted a snapshot poll of Newmarket retailers and business-people. The poll revealed that of the 354 respondents, over 90 percent supported Auckland keeping its 'City of Sails' slogan.

The question posed: Should Auckland keep its 'City of Sails' slogan? 92.4% of the email respondents said 'Yes'. 7.6% said 'No'.

"As Auckland's leading retail district we have a vested interest in how the city presents itself. Even with a huge margin of error, this unscientific poll clearly shows there is absolutely no mandate for change. "

Mr Brewer has also challenged Michael Barnett to poll his own Chamber of Commerce members on the issue.

"I think it is fair to say that the head of the Chamber of Commerce's personal views aren't reflected in the business and wider Auckland community.

"Without doubt the business community wants our local authorities and leaders to stick to their knitting and not promote a costly and unnecessary branding exercise, which would struggle to achieve better support," said Mr Brewer.

The Newmarket Business Association is the Auckland's second largest. It has over 1,500 commercial members.


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