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Hundreds protest supercity plans

Media release

22 April 2009

Hundreds protest supercity plans

An estimated 1,000 people marched through central Henderson today to protest against the Government’s model for Auckland governance.

Rally organisers, Community Coalition for Auckland: Voices of Tamaki Makaurau, say the event demonstrated the growing groundswell of opposition to the proposed model the Government is fast-tracking through the legislative process.

“Our protest is about demanding the right for Aucklanders to have a say about how their rates are spent and to have a meaningful say in local decisions that affect their lives and the lives of their children,” said coalition spokesman Tony Mayow.

“This is the biggest challenge that Auckland has faced in its entire history. It’s inconceivable that 1.4 million people are not able to have a say in it!”

The coalition is calling for the Government to use the original Royal Commission report as the basis for any future decisions on the governance of Auckland’s ‘Super City’.

“We reject the undemocratic ‘Rodney Hide’ version of the report that the Government has presented as a done deal to the people of Auckland,” Mr Mayow said.

“The Government’s model for Auckland regional governance will strip away democracy and replace the effective partnerships between councils and community with voiceless, powerless local boards that have no access to funding or resources.

“We are not opposed to the idea of being part of a ‘super-city’ and recognise that if it’s done well, in consultation with the community, it will bring some benefits. But change has to work for all the people of Auckland, not just for Rodney Hide and the interests of big business.”

Joint coalition spokesperson Iris Donoghue says the Government’s model is at odds with what is happening internationally.

“The rest of the world is embracing the power and effectiveness of local initiatives and local democracies. Rodney Hide’s model concentrates power in the hands of a few and harks back to the destructive ‘Rogernomics-style’ leadership of the 1980’s. This is a backward step for New Zealand’s social, environmental and economic development,” she says.

The strong support of the Waitakere community was evident at the rally, with banners and flags supporting the coalition’s call to the Government. A wide range of community organisations and residents and ratepayers joined the coalition on the march.

Rally protester Jeremy Snowsill said it was exhilarating to witness the enthusiastic support of the community at the rally.

“There are hundreds of community initiatives delivering essential services in this city that will disappear under the new proposal. There are many of us who are outraged at this prospect and that is why we are here today.”

“The Royal Commission’s proposal took 18 months to prepare, cost millions of dollars and drew on the wisdom of both ordinary Aucklanders and governance experts. The report wasn’t perfect but it was a damn good start.  Rodney Hide’s sham version that he’s forcing on Auckland was thrown together in just three days.”

The Community Coalition for Auckland: Voices of Tamaki Makaurau also supported the iwi call for Maori representation in any Auckland governance structure and reminded the crowd of the hikoi planned for May 25th.

Further regional meetings are being held around Auckland this week, with Manukau City Council holding a public meeting at 6pm tonight at the Telstra Clear Stadium. Further details are available at www.cc4a.net.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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