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People Power Wins Waiheke Waste Issue Reprieve

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Thursday 14 May 2009

People Power Wins Waiheke Waste Issue Reprieve

At Auckland City Council’s City Development Committee meeting today, a month-long pause in the Waiheke waste services tender process was agreed to when Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) councillors finally admitted that more information is needed before a final decision is made. This delay was made possible because of Waiheke community members’ well-informed phone call/email/web campaign along with canny opposition councillor questions and amendments.

Councillor Leila Boyle said, “The changes to the C&R Chair’s draft recommendations from yesterday afternoon to this morning immediately before the meeting began and then during the meeting itself was absolutely fascinating to watch. Clearly the pressure applied by the Waiheke community over the past couple of weeks combined with the amendments proposed by City Vision-Labour opposition councillors forced C&R councillors to change their recommendations considerably.

“I think the important issues were well communicated by Waiheke community members (Anu Grace, Briin Gould and Sue Connor), Waiheke Community Board Chair Tony Sears and Zero Waste Chief Executive Jo Knight when they addressed the committee this morning. Some additional points were teased out by questions put to them by City Vision-Labour councillors which were very useful and helped us to appropriately formulate our amendments,” Councillor Boyle continued.

Councillor Glenda Fryer said, “There were a number of issues concerning us. Of major concern is the apparent discrepancy between the Auckland City Council approved Waste Management Plan for the Hauraki Gulf islands and the reported wording in the officers’ report which referred to investigation into different container types and sizes. We are also worried about whether the tenders had been measured against the guiding principle of dealing with waste on island whenever possible.

“We have also asked officers about appropriate best practice lengths of contracts able to be entered into, particularly considering contract tender decisions under the regional governance transitional arrangements to the Auckland Council,” said Councillor Fryer.

Councillor Boyle concluded, “I think the decisions made by the City Development Committee today were the right ones. Officers will report back next month on issues raised by the public and councillors. I’m awaiting officers’ advice with anticipation. I remain hopeful that this tender process will, in the end, deliver the best waste services to Waiheke in the immediate future and for the longer term.”

ENDS

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