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For community – Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga should resign

For sake of the community – Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga should resign

People of the Tamaki Maungakiekie deserve better representation than a sometime City Councillor, says locally based Labour MP Carol Beaumont.

“The people of Maungakiekie deserve a fulltime MP to represent their views; likewise the people of the Tamaki Maungakiekie ward of the Auckland City Council deserve a fulltime City Councillor – at the moment they are being short-changed by Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.

“The electorate is a made up of many distinct communities, a very ethnically diverse population and some of Auckland’s poorest people.

“Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is not fulfilling his Council role. I understand he has attended just 12 of the last 22 meetings and so is failing to carry out the duties he was elected to.

“Members of Parliament are required to be in Wellington when the House sits on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, it is unacceptable that the people of Tamaki Maungakiekie do not have councillor representing them on these days.

“At a time when the future of local government representation in Auckland is going through fundamental change Mr Lotu-liga needs to be available to represent the views of local people in that process.”

Auckland based Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni said: "ensuring Pacific Island people are well represented in local Government is an important issue. Mr Lotu-Iiga should have stood aside immediately after becoming an MP so as to allow someone better placed to fulfil the responsibilities of the role - he's doing a disservice to the public by doing the two jobs.

“MPs often challenge local government decisions and processes. How confident can local people be that Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is independent enough from the ruling Citizens and Ratepayers group on Council to do that?” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Associate Pacific Island Spokesperson Su'a William Sio, who is a former Manukau City Councillor, said when he entered Parliament midway through 2008 he resigned from the council immediately because it was impossible to do justice to both jobs.

"I think the right thing for Peseta to do is to resign from one role and focus on doing one job properly, and that's what the community deserves," said Su'a William Sio.

“There is significant concern in the community about the holding of dual roles by Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga both in terms of time and clarity of role. For the sake of the community I call on Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga to resolve this conflict of interest by resigning from Auckland City Council immediately,” Carol Beaumont said.

ENDS

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