January 30, 2021
Auckland Council is encouraging voter turnout in the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu by-election, but their decision to leave out Māngere Bridge in their Meet the Candidate events sends a clear message, says C&R candidate Malcolm Turner.
"For the first time, Auckland Council is hosting Meet the Candidate events during an election period, and while I commend their efforts to increase participation in the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu by-election, it's concerning to see that they've decided what communities should be involved in the process.
"Over the next couple of weeks, Māngere Central and Ōtāhuhu locals will be given the opportunity to meet and hear from their prospective local board candidates. Māngere Bridge, however, is not given the same luxury.
"Council will also be facilitating voter registration and voting at these meetings. Why are they making the call on who shouldn't be given the extra hand? Surely it's more than reasonable to expect candidate events to be evenly split across the board.
"I have been told the events will cost approximately $3,000 in total. These costs will cover venue and equipment hire, and the cost of a sausage sizzle to encourage voter registration. That's $3000 of ratepayer money that will be spent unfairly in what's meant to be a 'fair and transparent election process'.
"The people of Māngere Bridge deserve better. A fair deal would see them included in the Meet the Candidate events, and provided with the same amount of attention and resources as other parts of the local board area," says Mr Turner.
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