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New legislation fails to protect Auckland’s assets

Media release
17 September 2009

New legislation fails to protect Auckland’s assets

Manukau Mayor Len Brown says Parliament should have included provision to prevent the sale of council assets in new legislation passed today setting up the new supercity.

“The legislation setting up the new city structure, with power vested in one mayor and one council, fails to include protection for strategic assets such as the airport, the port, and water. This means that if Aucklanders want to protect their assets to provide a platform for growth, they will need to vote for someone with a track record of protecting public assets.

“Generations of Aucklanders have invested in our public ports, airport and water company. They are owned by the community. They provide an asset base upon which we can build the infrastructure needed to turn Auckland into an economic and cultural hub for the South Pacific. They must not be sold.

“We must make sure the new council protects and develops our assets for all Aucklanders.”

Mr Brown welcomed the dumping of the proposal for undemocratic at-large councillors and the retention of the original northern Rodney boundary, however, he believes the government has made a mistake by splitting the Franklin district in half.

“The preferences of the Franklin community have been made clear. It is a long-standing community in its own right. To arbitrarily split Franklin in half is a slap in the face to them.

“The legislation also states that the new council will have to negotiate the roles and functions of the local community boards. It will be important that this work by the new council is undertaken quickly so that the new boards can get up and running and representing their community.

“As an advocate of empowering local democracy I was in favour of these roles being outlined in the legislation, however as mayor I will be work to make sure that local communities have their voices heard.

“With the new Auckland structure now almost set up, we will need to work to bring the new council together.”


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