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91.4% vote 'Yes' to joining Newmarket precinct

Media release

Newmarket Business Association

Monday, 1 December 2008

91.4% vote 'Yes' to joining Newmarket precinct

Voters have overwhelmingly supported joining the Newmarket Business Association, with the official business association precinct set to grow dramatically next year.

91.48 percent of voters in the extension area voted 'yes' to paying a levy on their Auckland City Council rates to become full members of the association from 1 July 2009.

The electoral office confirmed the result today after an extensive marketing campaign by the Newmarket Business Association followed by a three-week postal ballot.

Over 350 tenants and property owners in the extension area were sent a ballot paper in November. For the poll to be valid at least 25% of electors needed to post their ballots back, with the majority of them needing to have voted 'yes'.

"Overall we got a great response with 50% of all ballots posted back, with particularly strong representation from tenants," says campaign manager Cameron Brewer of the Newmarket Business Association.

Over six weeks the association conducted a colourful electioneering campaign to win the hearts and minds of neighbouring streets Carlton Gore Road, George Street, Khyber Pass Road, the top and bottom of Broadway, Morgan Street, Clayton Street, Alma Street, Railway Street, Kingdon Street, McColl Street, Roxburgh Street, Melrose Street, Crowhurst Street, Clovernook Road, and the bottom of Gillies Avenue:

"It took a lot of doorknocking. We had to build a database of voters, convince them of the merits, and then motivate them to post back their voting papers.

Tactics included recruiting former Newmarket Mayor David Lumsden to hit the campaign trial, distinctively branding the campaign 'red, white and blue', using a mobile billboard and scooters to take the message to the precinct, and handing out branded pens to remind people to vote.

"This is not only about further cementing Newmarket as Auckland's leading retail area, but also securing Newmarket as the city's second commercial business district."

Mr Brewer said over $1 billion of public and private developments were scheduled to kick off or be completed in Newmarket within the next five years, including the $195m motorway viaduct replacement project and the massive mixed-use redevelopment of the Lion Breweries 5.2 hectare site.

"These two projects alone are going to be huge and the good news is we can now represent them and the surrounding businesses. We also want to extend our successful security and CCTV camera initiatives, plus our graffiti eradication programme, not to mention have the new members involved in all our marketing and public relations activity."

"Geographically our official business precinct is set to grow by more 50%. However our income will initially only grow by about 25% because we're not getting greedy with the levy we proposed. In fact for our existing membership the business association levy on their rates will actually come down, because we'll have a bigger rating base".

Many of the streets in the extension area were part of the original borough before Newmarket was forced to amalgamate with Auckland City in 1989.

"The association has long believed this project needed to be done but it was never going to be easy particularly in this economic environment. Not only do the new precinct boundaries better represent modern-day Newmarket, but this 'yes' vote shows real confidence in the area's long-term future," says Mr Brewer.

ENDS

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