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RAM: Give Auckland the power!

RAM: Give Auckland the power!

The Residents Action Movement, better known as RAM, is calling on the Government to enact the proposals of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance in full.

"The report isn't perfect, but it's a vital step forward," said RAM spokeswoman Daphne Lawless.

"The suggested changes will give Auckland the tools it needs to provide real solutions for economic and environmental issues that face our city."

RAM supports the Commission's finding that all local body transport responsibilities should be amalgamated into a single Regional Transport Authority. "This will give Auckland the power to put an end to motorway madness once and for all, and make a serious shift to free, sustainable and useful public transport," said Lawless.

"Additionally, a unified Auckland Council could shift the rates burden away from those struggling to pay their mortgages, and provide serious health and housing initiatives for those up at the sharp end of the market turmoil," said Lawless.

Lawless said that RAM disagreed with some parts of the report, such as the precise makeup of the new Auckland Council.

"But the Commission Chair, Peter Salmon, has already said that the report's proposals are a coherent whole and should be adopted in full or not at all. We agree with him," said Lawless.

"Once we have the structure in place, Aucklanders themselves can make changes to it through the democratic process."

Lawless noted that Prime Minister John Key and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide had reacted cautiously to the report.

"The problem for the current right-wing government is that it flies in the face of the agenda of support for the rich and cutbacks for the poor they've been following up until now," said Lawless.

"I also suspect they're upset that they didn't get the 'executive mayor' they were after.

"John Key has to prove whether his government is serious about giving Auckland the power to protect its people from the growing world crisis," said Lawless. "He should enact the Royal Commission's report in full."

RAM is a broad-left people's movement founded in Auckland in 2003. RAM candidates received 100,000 votes across the Auckland region in the most recent local body elections in 2007.

ENDS


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