Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Grey Power pushes Democracy

Residents to vote on Omana road closure Beachlands and Maraetai residents will get to vote on whether or not to close the road through Omana Esplanade.

In an unprecedented decision last Thursday, Manukau City Council agreed to a request by Pohutukawa Coast Grey Power for a referendum on the controversial decision by the Clevedon Community Board to close the roadway.

Grey Power had offered to foot the $10,000 bill for the postal poll but the councillors voted that the council should provide the funding.

It was a close vote: 9-8 in favour.

Voting in favour was Botany- Clevedon councillor Michael Williams along with Daniel Newman, Dick Quax, David Collings, Anne Candy, Jami-Lee Ross, Sylvia Taylor, Bob Wichman, and Sharon Stewart.

Against were Mayor Len Brown, Gary Troup, Alf Filipaina, Efu Koka, Arthur Anae, Colleen Brown, Hugh Graham, Sir John Walker.(SHAME ON YOU ALL)

Botany-Clevedon's other councillor, Maggie Burrill, declared an interest and didn't vote.

Grey Power president Bill Bateman also spoke at the meeting as did resident Paul Johnson representing the Save Omana residents’ group. Bill Bateman says he feared the worst going into the meeting but is now delighted and already looking to the next step. "We will be campaigning to keep the road open and we can do this with very little money. We have already formed a campaign committee," he says. "I am a cautious man and am confident but will be working my butt off to make sure it happens." He says feelings on the issue are high in Maraetai “less so in Beachlands“ and that referenda held by other councils show a higher turnout than with normal local body elections.

The Clevedon Community Board is less impressed and in a statement says the decision "is more about political grandstanding and less about common sense."
Says the statement from chairman Maurice Hinton: "Our decision (to close the road) came after several years of discussions including workshops, consultation with residents and reviewing expert advice“ something the majority of councillors who voted last night were not party to."

Maximising the recreational potential of the reserve and the safety of the users of the reserve, especially children was the Board’s main concern.
"Playgrounds, roads, plus children do not mix“ it is that simple. "We believe that in coming to their decision last night councillors who supported the motion to hold a referendum have undermined the local democratic process and let down future generations of Manukau residents."


No comments: