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Local Govt Commission urged to listen to Auckland

13 December 2009 Media Statement

Local Government Commission urged to listen to Auckland Communities


“Failure by the Local Government Commission to listen to the concerns being expressed by our community will mean greater inequality of outcomes and increased disaffection with local government - neither of which will create the successful and inclusive Auckland we need,” says Labour MP Carol Beaumont

“Like many other Aucklanders, I am extremely concerned about the draft boundaries for council wards and local boards created by the Local Government Commission.

“The Labour Party in the Maungakiekie electorate has submitted to the Commission on the need for significant changes to the draft boundaries because they are likely to disenfranchise and seriously disadvantage our community. We are far from alone in these concerns and we join with others in seeking to have changes made by the Local Government Commission,” says Carol Beaumont.

“The main concerns centre around the fact that the proposed Orakei-Maungakiekie ward links areas that do not have a community of interest. The Southern suburbs – Otahuhu, Sylvia Park, Mt Wellington, Panmure, Pt England, Glen Innes, Oranga and Onehunga are very different from the northern suburbs – Glendowie, St Heliers, Mission Bay, Kohimarama, Orakei, Meadowbank, Remuera and Ellerslie. The differences include income levels, land use and ethnic diversity and are well understood by the residents in the southern suburbs.

“The proposed ward is also very large and exceeds the plus or minus 10 per cent legislative criteria. We are concerned this will undermine effective representation.

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“There is significant concern that community interests will not be properly represented if the ward as currently outlined is maintained. Ours is a community that is used to well-connected and effective local representation through our current community boards. This advocacy is necessary in poorer communities in a way it is not in richer communities,” Carol Beaumont says.

”I urge the Commission to listen and to act in response to the submissions of Aucklanders.”

ENDS

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