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Pacific communities to support hikoi on Super City

12 May 2009
Media Statement


Pacific communities to support hikoi on Super City

Auckland’s Pacific community expressed strong concerns about the Government’s Super City plans at a Pacific Fono in Manukau last night and have resolved to support the hikoi in favour of Maori seats, says Labour’s Associate Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson Su’a William Sio.

The other key resolution passed at the Regional Pacific Fono, held at Manukau City’s TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre, was to set up a working party.

“Pacific families, youth, workers, community and business leaders braved wet and cold weather with some travelling as far as Waiuku, Waitakere and North Shore to have their say,” Su’a William Sio said.

“It was an emotionally-charged meeting and people were angry and frustrated with the Government’s plan and lack of consultation with our communities.

“A common refrain was: ‘why weren’t Pacific People considered in the Government’s structure?’ People wanted immediate action to reflect their concerns.”

Among the organisations represented at the Fono were: members of Pacific Advisory Boards for Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council, Waitakere City Council, North Shore City Council, unions, Pacific media, and the Pacific Chamber of Commerce.

“It was resolved the working party be set up and include members of the Pacific Advisory Boards from each of the four Auckland councils present – Manukau, Waitakere, North Shore and Auckland City. This working party will help to organise meetings, update and inform people,” said Su’a William Sio.

“The Fono agreed that we call on Pacific people throughout Auckland to support the hikoi for the Maori seats on the Super City - and this also means we’re calling on the Government for more consultation before finalising their plans.”

“There was general recognition that in order for this Government to provide real and lasting respect for Pacific people, we (Pacific) needed to support Maori so that they aren’t forced to beg, or protest, in their own land, for even one seat at their own table by this National Government.”

“People were angry that even though Mr Key is saying publicly that he is listening, the Super City is still being rushed through and people feel that the Government has already made up its mind.”

“It was clear from responses that people wanted more time to fully understand what the Super City means to them, and that the Government needed to keep their pre-election promise of consulting with Aucklanders and not ram through legislation in urgency.”

ENDS

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