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Sam’s Council Vacancy Must Be Filled

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council
For Immediate Release
Wednesday 25 November 2009

Sam’s Council Vacancy Must Be Filled

Tomorrow night the Auckland City Council will decide whether or not to fill the vacancy generated by the belated resignation of Maungakiekie Member of Parliament Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga as a Tamaki-Maungakiekie Ward Councillor.  Council has the choice of leaving the vacancy empty, which would leave only Councillor Richard Northey representing the interests of the residents and businesses of the Maungakiekie Community Board area of about 45,000 people on the Council for the remaining year of Auckland City Council’s life.

Both the Maungakiekie and the Tamaki Community Boards have resolved unanimously to recommend that the vacancy be filled and argued that the experienced and politically independent Maungakiekie Community Board Chair Bridget Graham be appointed to fill the Council vacancy.

Councillor Cathy Casey said, “It has been nearly two years since Sam Lotu-Iiga began to campaign in earnest for a seat in Parliament.  The people of Maungakiekie have not been well served during that time.  He patently stood for Council as a springboard into Parliament.  I personally would like to see a clause in the third Auckland governance bill that ensures that Auckland Councillors immediately stand down if elected to Parliament.

“Bridget Graham is the current Chair of the Maungakiekie Community Board and has the support of all political groups.  She will do an excellent job in representing Maungakiekie during these tumultuous times as boundaries are defined and the Supercity amalgamation proceeds,” Councillor Casey continued.

Councillor Glenda Fryer said, “Bridget Graham is a local body politician much loved and trusted for her long service and hard work, from her time as a One Tree Hill Borough Councillor until the 1989 amalgamation to her chairing of the Maungakiekie community board for the last eight years.  Were she an Auckland City Councillor, she would very ably represent the community of Maungakiekie as they struggle to make their views heard on the restoration of the Onehunga foreshore, two area plans for future land use, the delay of the Onehunga rail line, and making sure Maungakiekie is well represented during the set up of the Supercity.

“Councilor Richard Northey is doing a wonderful job but there are so many issues on the go for the next year that having Bridget with all her local knowledge would ensure the communities are represented by what they deserve, which is two full-time Auckland City Councillors,” Councillor Fryer concluded.


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