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Labour Cautious About Auckland's Future

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Twyford
Phil Twyford

Wellington, March 27 NZPA - Labour hedged its bets on Auckland's future after the release of the Royal Commission's report but the Greens were sure about what they wanted -- one council, one plan, one rates bill.

Labour's Auckland issues spokesman Phil Twyford said his party would carefully study the commission's finding.

"Improving Auckland will not just benefit those who live there. In terms of goods and people movement, Auckland is New Zealand's gateway to the world," he said.

"If Auckland prospers, New Zealand prospers."

The Greens' local government spokeswoman, Sue Kedgley, said a unified system should lead to better environmental management and transport planning.

But she said her party was alarmed at the power that would be wielded by an executive mayor.

"This is an astonishing centralisation of power," Ms Kedgley said.

"It greatly reduces the power and influence of elected councillors who are not part of the mayor's self-appointed inner cabal."

The Public Service Association supported the recommendation that all local government staff should be retained until the next local government elections in 2010.

The PSA has 2400 of its members working for eight local authorities and council-controlled organisations.

"Our message to the Government, as it considers its response to the report, is that it must ensure the ongoing retention of a skilled and experienced local government workforce," said PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

NZPA PAR pw nb

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