Ratepayers denied right to present to Councillors on rates

Press Release – Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance

MEDIA RELEASE
AUCKLAND COUNCIL DENY RATEPAYERS RIGHT TO PRESENT TO COUNCILLORS ON RATES

30 MARCH 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In a first for New Zealand local government, Auckland Councillors have voted to prevent members of the public presenting orally to Councillors as part of this year’s Annual Budget consultation process. The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance was shocked to learn that Auckland Councillors instead chose to identify ‘key stakeholders’ and groups the Council funds, and took submissions from them prior to written submissions closing on Monday.

Jo Holmes, a spokesperson for the Ratepayers’ Alliance, says, “Best practice consultation involves creating as many different options to engage, for as many people as practicable. Oral submission should be used to test evidence, and quiz experts. Instead, the Council have hand-picked friends they wanted to hear from, even before they had received the public submissions.”

“Aucklanders are sick of the Council taking an ivory-tower approach to governing Auckland. The Annual Budget is one of the few times ratepayers can give feedback on how they think the city is being run. Now the Council is trying to take away that opportunity, presumably because Mr Goff and the Councillors can’t be bothered listening to the great unwashed. It is a disgrace.”

“We’re naming and shaming Phil Goff and the nine Councillors who voted to prevent ordinary citizens from having their say. It is totally unprecedented, sneaky, and undemocratic.”

Councillors who voted against allowing ratepayers to make oral submissions on the Council’s budget:

1. Cr Bill Cashmore
2. Cr Ross Clow
3. Cr Fa’anana Efeso Collins
4. Cr Linda Cooper
5. Cr Chris Darby
6. Mayor Phil Goff
7. Cr Richard Hills
8. Cr Penny Hulse
9. Cr Denise Lee
10. Cr Desley Simpson

More information is available at www.ratepayers.nz/no_consultation.
ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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