Sikh News Sikhs Reject Supercity

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Jun 1, 2004
Auckland’s 8000 Sikhs are overwhelmingly against the government’s supercity plans and will march with Monday’s hikoi to voice their protest.

The Manukau-based Auckland Sikh Centre says it made the decision after consultation with the Sikh community and others showed people are "overwhelmingly against the concept".

Chairman Verpal Singh says the planned supercity structure is "close to dictatorship" and is driving "widespread concern that it will leave many of the city’s residents unrepresented".

"Most people are of the view that if any restructuring is required it should be in the Auckland Regional Council and not abolition of all local councils.

"The stated objective of the whole exercise was to remove roadblocks in executing projects across local councils. The solution isn’t to abolish local councils."

Many communities expected the Royal Commission’s recommendations to come back to the people so they could have their say, Mr Singh says.

"But it hasn’t happened in any reasonable way and consultation is unlikely to happen in a rushed select committee process.

"They have built our house without our say and now they are asking us: ‘Which corner will the chair go in ‘?

"It does not matter much where the chair will go. What matters most is how we shape and build the house."

The "blatant disregard for people’s views and a dictatorial streak" in the decision-makers is most obvious on the question of Maori seats, he says.

"The Royal Commission has given a view there should be seats for Maori and the reasons for that.

"But the government simply responds with: ‘Na, we do not think we need Maori seats’. Where is the conversation about this whole process?"

At least two polls have shown people are in favour of Maori seats but the government refuses to listen, Mr Singh says.

"Our people will gather with the rest of Manukau at 7am at the Civic Square outside the Manukau City Council building and from there join the rest of Auckland."

If the government does not listen to a call for greater representation and consultation then the next step has to be a rates boycott, Mr Singh says.

"Why should we pay rates to support a supercity we don’t want? That is something we need to consider and put to the people."

And he says people should be questioning the idea of "a supercity being a fait accompli".

"We must ask what the alternatives to this supercity are."


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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
I was very proud when I saw the picture and then read the article. It is a Sikh who is leading the charge for everyone against the capricious and arbitrary use of government authority.

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