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Paula Bennett must attend secret mayor’s meeting

Paula Bennett must attend secret mayor’s meeting

Local Government Minister Paula Bennett must attend tomorrow’s secret mayors’ meeting about super cities, Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.

“It is a sad day for local democracy that these mayors feel they have to meet in secret to discuss their concerns about the Government’s amalgamation agenda.

“Paula Bennett has declined to attend the Taupō meeting but she needs to be there.

“The secret meeting is an embarrassment for the Minister and for Local Government president Lawrence Yule who heard about it from Paula Bennett.

“Paula Bennett has tried to insist amalgamation is not part of the Government’s agenda but the Auckland super city has been praised as a structure other regions should follow.

“The truth is the Auckland super city was a corporate model introduced by the National Government to make it easier for its then mayoral candidate to strip the city of its public assets, especially those that generate millions of dollars of revenue.

“It is understandable these mayors are worried about amalgamation when under National’s local government reforms, the Government can override council decisions they don’t like.

“National has little regard for local democracy. Mayors and councillors are elected by their communities and their opinions deserve the respect of central Government.

“Paula Bennett must attend tomorrow’s meeting so she can listen to these mayors. That is her job,” Su’a William Sio says.

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