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Government must get Auckland right

Media Release
5 June 2009

Government must get Auckland right

Manukau Mayor Len Brown said today that the Government must get the new structure for Auckland right.

Mr Brown was backing comments made by the chair of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, Justice Peter Salmon, who has criticised the government for adopting 20 to 30 local boards rather than the Royal Commission’s recommended six local councils.

“The new Auckland structure is too important not to get right. And at the moment, it is not right. The Royal Commission’s recommendations were well thought out, and provided the way for communities to be involved in local issues and local democracy through the six local councils operating below the Auckland Council. The system the government adopted removes that,” says Mr Brown.

“Justice Salmon has said the government’s structure of 20 to 30 local boards will be more costly, disruptive and less effective,” says Mr Brown. “He also says they are too small to provide local services and to engage effectively with the new Auckland Council which will result in the Auckland Council acting locally instead of regionally.

“Mr Hide says he wants to be known as the ‘Minister for Ratepayers’. Instead of sticking rigidly to the Government’s decision around 20 to 30 local boards, I’m sure Auckland’s ratepayers would prefer he acted on their behalf and provided them with a system which gives them strong representation on local issues and the ability to deliver locally.

“The Royal Commission consulted widely and then produced its report, and it provided a decent basis for a new city. The government ignored key details and has come up with a structure that denies communities a voice.

“Aucklanders deserve a new structure that will work for them. The government has said they will listen to Auckland through the Select Committee process, and I continue to strongly encourage our communities to make sure their voices are heard.”

ENDS

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