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Gag Sells Public Assets On Trademe

For immediate release: Sunday 26 July 2009

Gag Sells Public Assets On Trademe

The Grassroots Action Group is selling photographs of public assets currently owned by the 5 Auckland councils on the internet trading web site www.trademe.co.nz this week.

The stunt is intended to raise awareness of the impact that privatisation of public assets would have on the lives of every Aucklander as the country awaits the outcome from the select committee on Auckland Governance.

GAG member Mels Barton says that the threat of privatisation is the one thing that everyone can agree on. “There is huge concern in the community that this is on the Government’s agenda further down the track. Everyone in Auckland stands to lose the important things that make our quality of life so great. Our parks and libraries, pools and museums, art galleries and public transport and of course our water are about to be handed to the new super council.”

“GAG shares the community’s concerns that these assets are not safe for the future unless specifically protected by legislation. Someone has to stand up and say no - this is not going to happen to our city.”

“Generations of Aucklanders have paid for these assets for the benefit of everyone, you shouldn’t have to consider paying to use them in the future and this is a real possibility.”

Mels suggests “if you value these assets then bid for them on trademe while you still can – at least then you can have a momento of what we all used to own.”

Every bid can be turned into a donation to GAG’s campaign and the winning bidders will take home a photograph of their favourite Auckland asset.

Options include the harbour bridge, Long Bay regional park, the zoo, Lopdell House, North Shore stadium, the Tepid Baths and a Manurewa swimming pool. They are all listed under the “Antiques and Collectables – New Zealand and Maori” category and can be found by searching for “public asset”.

GAG suggests that anyone concerned about public assets remaining in public hands should email all the Auckland MPs and encourage them to vote for Phil Twyford’s private members bill on Wednesday. The bill if passed would require a referendum to be held before any public asset could be sold. Details can be found on www.notyourstosell.co.nz

“If Auckland MPs truly represent the views of their communities they will vote for this bill and for the future of Auckland, instead of allowing short term gain to profit over long term public good.” says Mels.


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