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Kiwis Say ’Yes’ Auckland Is Sucking the Life Out of NZ


Wednesday 14 August, 2013

Kiwis Say ’Yes’ Auckland Is Sucking the Life Out of New Zealand On Tv3’s the Vote

Does New Zealand need Auckland to keep growing, and growing fast – or are Auckland’s gains at the expense of the country and economy as a whole? 

Tonight Kiwis voted YES to the moot ‘Auckland is sucking the life out of New Zealand’ during national debate programme The Vote, which screened on TV3.  

Duncan Garner and the Affirmative team were declared the winners of the debate at the end of the hour-long show with the votes tallied at 73% YES, 27% NO.

Viewer votes:

66% YES
34% NO
56% YES
44% NO
72% YES
28% NO
76% YES
24% NO
73% YES
27% NO

The theatre audience voted before and after the debate.  The results are:

Theatre audience vote – prior to debate
Theatre audience vote – end of debate
24% YES
70% NO
19% YES
80% NO

During the debate, viewers were also invited to vote in a Facebook poll which asked ‘Is Wellington dying?’  The results were 44% YES, 56% NO.

Dubbed ‘competitive current affairs’, The Vote sees co-hosts Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner each month lead two teams to debate a hot topic, with Linda Clark keeping order as referee.

In tonight’s debate, Duncan Garner led the ‘For’ team, with Economist Ganesh Nana, comedian Urzila Carlson, and former Mayor of Christchurch Garry Moore.  Joining Guyon Espiner on the ‘Against’ team are businessman Tenby Powell, actor, director and broadcaster Oliver Driver, and Auckland Mayor Len Brown.  Broadcaster and lawyer, Linda Clark was again charged with keeping the debaters in line and on topic.

The arguments FOR:
• “We need a team New Zealand framework, we need a team New Zealand approach and Auckland growing on its own is not working, we need the regions to grow as well … we’re focussing on Auckland and our economic policies are focusing on trying to solve Auckland’s problems and that’s to the detriment of our heartland in terms of our exports.” - Ganesh Nana
• “The way that Auckland has grown in the past, it has sucked the life and it’s continuing to suck the life in terms of our economic policy framework. We’re not focussing on exports, we’re focussing on domestic production.” – Ganesh Nana
• “It’s kinda like a hostage situation ... I would love to live somewhere else, you know. Like Feilding, my partner’s from Feilding, we’d love to live down there but the work is here and so I’m stuck here.” – Urzila Carlson
• “Auckland behaved badly, and central government gave them a central city and I think Len is leading them very well but I think what’s happened is that the rest of the country has got caught in a Auckland dominates the thinking of Wellington politicians and what we need in New Zealand is proper regional development strategies that actually embrace the whole country, so I’m talking about raising all the boats just not knocking Auckland.” – Gary Moore
• “I look at Auckland and I see it as sort of the kid in middle school that has developed muscles first and is bullying the rest of the country and saying I can take your lunch money if I want to and it does most times.”  – Urzila Carlson
• “What we actually have to do as a country is say – how will central government understand us? Because in the South Island, I think we need to form a South Island Party, we’d have the balance of power forever.” – Gary Moore

The arguments AGAINST:
• “New Zealand wouldn’t exist in its current form without Auckland and I’m just backing off what Ganesh said we need to be a combined team.” – Tenby Powell
• “I love New Zealand, all of it. And I really love Auckland and one of the things that’s always broken my heart as a New Zealander is the fact that we diss our own cities and we diss our own country and as for somebody who has lived here my entire life, we’ve just reached the stage where we’re just proud of it!... Isn’t it fantastic that we finally have a city that you can achieve things in?” – Oliver Driver
• “We’re not a drain. By the sounds of the poll that we had here in the audience tonight, half of them want to go somewhere else, maybe around the country.” – Len Brown
• “We’ve talked about the potential with entrepreneurial development but there’s also tourism and so 75 per cent of the international visitors come in through the Auckland international airport. We are really focussed as a city on bringing more and more tourists into our nation, so they’re coming through this gateway. They may stay for a while, but we want them to come in through our cruise ship terminal and the airport and then go around the nation.” – Len Brown
• “It is a myth [that Auckland doesn’t produce anything]. Every region in New Zealand has their own economics and Auckland can be defined very specifically around tourism, the marine sector, export education is particularly strong in Auckland, the film industry – both feature films, television commercials and sitcoms, it’s hugely big in Auckland and growing, ever-growing. Food processing and manufacturing – there are 74-thousand manufacturing jobs in Auckland alone, double the next biggest centre which happens to be Canterbury.” – Tenby Powell
• “Two and a half million, three million [Aucklanders], those are seen as the optimal in terms of international best practice and I think that that would be just right for us. But we do need a couple of other extra cities to really start taking some pace on … We need to build on average 12 to 13 thousand houses per annum.” – Len Brown
• “I’m at the top of my career, I’ve got three flatmates. I live in a house [I don’t own, but] I still get to live in this great metropolis. I could own a house and live in Blenheim but as Urzila says I couldn’t have the lifestyle and the work that I have there so I choose to live in this city.” – Oliver Driver

The Vote is produced by TV3’s News and Current Affairs division with funding from NZ On Air, and screens once every four weeks in the same timeslot as 3rd Degree.


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