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Petition Handover – 10th February

Petition Handover – 10th February

Yesterday (Feb 10th) The Northern action Group (NAG) together with the Wellsford sister group and a small but dedicated band of supporters handed over the two petitions totaling 6286 signatures asking the government to exclude North Rodney from the Super City as recommended by the select Committee last September.

The Hon. Dr. Lockwood Smith and Hon. John Carter received the petitions with the Local Government Minister Hon. Rodney Hide in attendance.

The Minister indicated that he was impressed with the size of the petitions and said they would definitely be taken seriously.

However after the formal meeting a small delegation in a private meeting in Dr. Smith’s office were told that it would be extremely difficult to unravel what has already been put in place and we should be focusing on getting the best possible deal from the shape of the third Bill.
Neither Ministers Smith nor Carter showed much enthusiasm to stand up and fight for the democratic rights so strongly demanded by the petitions.

One has to then ask, have these two got any right to claim they represent us in Parliament? If not then they should resign immediately.

There is clearly an underlying agenda going on here as indicated by the refusal of Dr. Smith to take any sort of show of hands at the Ascension Vineyard meeting to properly gauge the mood of the attendees. Add to this the subsequent inability for any of the government Ministers to be able to quantify and/or verify the claimed large number of Email/phone calls received by them when the split was announced. This information was sought under the Official Information Act but was unavailable. Does it even exist?

The claim that it is too difficult now to undo the law passed in the second Act is nonsense. There are no fewer than 41 clauses in the proposed Auckland law reform bill currently with the select committee making amendments to the second Act.
Given the will, it would be a simple matter to grant North Rodney its wish. But there is no will. No will by government to give us back our democracy because that is not its agenda for North Rodney.

One can only speculate as to what the real agenda is. Is it to hand control of our destiny over to some powerful force based outside of our community? Big Auckland business interests perhaps. Maybe it’s just to take the power of local government away from the people. The cut and thrust of the third Bill certainly seems to do that. Authority at a local level will be reduced to deciding the colour of street signs or some such trivial activity. The boards at a local level will have little influence on the important big-ticket items such as Infrastructure, Planning Regulatory and Budgetary matters.

So the people of North Rodney (and perhaps those of the whole Auckland Area) have a choice. Either roll over and take what’s handed out to us by a government showing few signs of a democratic process or stand up and fight.

Northern Action Group has shown the way but now it is up to the people themselves. If they want democracy they will have to fight it in every way they can, such as letters to politicians, press etc expressing outrage at this erosion of our democratic process.

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