The deluge of emails has caused Council to do an about turn. It has invited ARA to give a five minute presentation but the ARA is insisting all ratepayers who submitted should be given the right to make a verbal submission if they wish.
AUCKLAND COUNCIL TRY TO PLASTER OVER CONSULTATION CRACKS
More than one thousand Aucklanders have emailed the Mayor and the nine Councillors who voted not to allow ratepayers to present on this year’s annual budget to express their outrage, resulting in the Council's email system crashing briefly on Friday afternoon.
Updating her comments made on Friday, Jo Holmes, a spokesperson for the Ratepayers’ Alliance, says, “The chairman of the Finance and Performance Committee has now offered to allow the Ratepayers’ Alliance to present, even though we, nor any other ratepayer group, were identified as a ‘key stakeholder’ previously.”
“But a five-minute presentation from a representative body, is no substitute for allowing members of the public to have their say to Councillors on the budget. More than a thousand of our members have emailed the Mayor expressing their anger at the undemocratic blocking of public submissions."
"Councilors are simply refusing to hear from Aucklanders on how high rates and high spending are hurting Auckland communities. That's not good enough.
Committee should have had the opportunity to review the written submissions, so they could decide whose evidence they want to test and submitters they wanted to hear from. Instead, the Mayor opted for a process whereby the Council picked groups they wanted to hear from, and wrapped up oral submissions before public submissions even closed.”
“This approach to democracy is a sham. It speaks volumes that many of the groups the Council chose to hear from are those funded by the Council.”
“Ratepayers are the most affected by the Council’s budget and rates decisions. They should be allowed to present to Councillors about how these decisions affect them.”