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Mayor brimming with ideas after Kennedy talk

17 December 2009


Mayor brimming with ideas after Kennedy talk

North Shore Mayor, Andrew Williams, is brimming with fresh ideas for the North Shore after attending a talk last night by Robert F Kennedy junior, in Auckland to support the School Aid charity established by former Prime Minister and World Trade Organisation head, Mike Moore.

“Bobby Kennedy junior is one of the world’s leading experts on environmental matters, and with the Copenhagen climate change talks in full swing, the opportunity to hear him speak and learn from him was too good to pass up,” Mayor Williams said.

“With his lifetime of experience in politics, the law and business, Mr Kennedy has a unique view of the importance of strong communities in the fight for environmental justice, and how the mechanisms of the free market can be used to internalise the real costs of environmental damage and pollution so that ordinary people can make sound environmental choices.”

“This notion makes perfect sense to me, and makes me even more determined to ensure that the Auckland governance changes deliver genuine local democracy and local decision-making to keep our communities in charge of their own local areas, and not have the power taken from them to be handed to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats and council company boards.”

“Mr Kennedy also touched on the work that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, his cousin by marriage, is doing in the area of environmental protection in California, which may present a way forward for the super city in lifting our own game here in Auckland. He also spoke at length about the new approaches being taken by President Obama toward reducing dependence on fossil fuels.”

Mayor Williams said he would be firming up his ideas resulting from Mr Kennedy’s inspirational talk over the Christmas break and discussing them with councillors and council officers in the new year.

“We all value our wonderful parks and beaches on the Shore, and with Manukau mayor and super city mayoral candidate Len Brown and eco-city Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey also at Mr Kennedy’s talk, I’m confident that at least some of his thoughts and ideas will make their way into not only our current councils but eventually into the super city,” Mayor Williams said.

“I’m grateful to Mike Moore for hosting the talk, and to Deputy Mayor Julia Parfitt for chairing the Council last night so that I could attend.”

Robert F Kennedy junior is the son of former United States Attorney General and U.S. Senator Robert F Kennedy, and the nephew of former United States President John F Kennedy.


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