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SOUL heartened by huge support for movement

SOUL heartened by huge support for movement

Campaigners from the Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) movement want to express their deep gratitude for the huge support their campaign has gathered in the last month.

Spokespeople from SOUL addressed Auckland Council’s Governing Body on Thursday morning to speak to the motion for a revocation of Council’s decision to allow the Special Housing Area at Ihumatao, Mangere.

The group also presented a petition which has swelled to over 4000 signatures in the last week.

Over 200 supporters and media attended the meeting at the Council chambers and were honoured to witness a rousing haka from the leaders of SOUL.

SOUL spokesperson Waimarie McFarland says despite the Council voting against the motion to revoke their earlier decision it is heartening to see the out-pouring of support for their cause.

"This isn't over, we're taking the fight to the government," says Mcfarland

“We knew that the Council meeting was just going to be one step on a long journey to see this SHA halted and after seeing the huge response from people in support of our campaign we are confident we will prevail in our struggle to see this unwise housing development scrapped.”

The next step for SOUL is to make an urgent application to the Waitangi Tribunal and to air their concerns with the Governor General Jerry Mateparae.

And Auckland Council has also agreed to continue discussions about the land swap proposal by holding a round table discussion between SOUL, Council, local iwi, community stakeholders and Fletcher Residential to advance this option.

Ms McFarland would also like to acknowledge the support from the Mangere Otahuhu Local Board and Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford in their calls for the Government to revoke this controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere.

Phil Tywford laid out his concerns that Housing Minister Nick Smith has shown his usual propensity for shoddiness and that the Government needs to rethink their processes to avoid further fall-out.

“Once again Housing Minister Nick Smith hasn’t done his homework. In his mad rush to roll out Special Housing Areas, Nick Smith has overlooked some serious infrastructure, social and heritage issues in this community,” Phil Twyford says.

Mr Tywford also called Nick Smith out for playing fast and loose with the truth in that he’s claimed he’s unable to reverse a SHA decision, when in fact he is the only person with that power.

“Nick Smith is saying his hands are tied and he can’t stop the SHA proceeding. That’s not good enough. It is his legislation. He has created this mess. He needs to find a way to clean it up.”


ENDS

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