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Mayor refuses to drop Living Wage despite councillors' vote

30 January 2014

Mayor refuses to drop Living Wage despite councillors voting to drop it

Auckland Councillors Cameron Brewer and Dick Quax say that despite their successful amendment on 19 December to throw the Living Wage out of the council’s draft 2014/15 annual plan, the Mayor continues to defy the wish of a majority of councillors.

“This defiance comes from a Mayor who in the same breath firmly tells councillors to leave their politics at the door. However he continues to advocate for a Living Wage policy at council – a highly partisan issue that’s been largely championed by the unions and left-wing political parties. It’s time for the Mayor to walk his talk and actually leave his politics at the door. Councillors have clearly spoken and he now needs to respect the majority’s wishes,” says Mr Quax.

Mr Brewer says he was surprised to see the Mayor still pushing for a Living Wage despite it being dropped from the draft annual plan which is currently out for public consultation.

On Saturday Mr Brown attended the ‘Living Wage Whanau Day’ – an event surprisingly sponsored by Auckland ratepayers together with some unions.

“Goodness knows what he promised them all on Saturday but he hasn’t got the support from a majority of councillors to keep pushing this highly political issue. He needs to move on and leave his personal political hobbyhorses at the door,” says Mr Quax.

Both councillors not only question the Mayor ignoring the wishes of councillors by using council resources and time to continue to push for the highly-political Living Wage, but question why a local board is using general ratepayers’ money to sponsor and champion such a lost cause.

"This is just another example of the Mayor completely ignoring the censure motion and all the other resolutions councillors passed on 19 December to rein him in. Later that same day we had a vote on the Living Wage and the Mayor lost. Its time he started listening to and respecting the wishes of councillors,” says Mr Brewer.

“He told us today the importance of leaving our politics at the door, particularly in election year, and that he’s taken on board all of the councillors’ demands. But in reality he just continues to take the Mickey,” says Mr Quax.

Below: Mayoral diary entry and 19 December amendment; Attached PDF showing ‘Living Wage Whanau Day’ sponsors; http://www.livingwagenz.org.nz/files/Living-Wage-Whanau-A4-FB.jpg

19 December Amendment – Brewer/Quax: “That the Governing Body agrees that Auckland Council first and foremost prepare a remuneration policy in the 2014/15 financial year, and as part of that policy work fully investigate the costs and wider implications on the organisation, business community and region of the Living Wage policy and have the CE back to the Governing Body at a later date. Carried 11/10.

Mayor Len Brown’s week ahead
Saturday 25 January

12 noon: Living Wage Whanau Day
Location: Manukau Rugby League Club, Moyle Park, Bader Drive, Manukau

ENDS

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