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Wednesday, 20 February 2008


The petition to the Local Government Commission to transfer the Hauraki Gulf Islands and Great Barrier Island from the administration of Auckland City Council and Auckland Regional Council to Thames-Coromandel District Council and Environment Waikato is gathering steam. For the application process to begin, signatures are needed from at least 10% of registered voters in the islands, which means ratepayers, who are automatically on the electoral roll, and residents who have registered on it. There are 6524 registered voters across the islands so 653 signatures is the minimum.

That will start the process, and it cannot be stopped by any of the councils involved. They have to go down the railway lines of law until the Local Government Commission hands down its ruling, for or against the transfer.

The more signatures the better because the bigger the petition the more weight it will carry with the Local Government Commission. I want to get at least 1000, preferably over 2000 and ideally well over 3000.

I intend being at the Ostend Market every Saturday from about 9:15 onwards, so look for me there if you want to add your voice to this application. There are also copies of the petition in other places on Waiheke: the jewellers' shop opposite the Lazy Lounge (where the jade carver used to be), the $2 shop underneath Gulf News, the shop at Little Oneroa, Stefano's, and the library.

As this posting is being written there are already 412 signatures counted, but that does not include any collected at the places above, or any collected on Great Barrier. 412 is 6.3% of the electorate, so there is not far to go. The target 10% will obviously be reached, so the application will go through.

If we don't ask the answer is no. If we do it may be yes. I think we have a good chance of getting the yes. We shall see. Please keep the signatures rolling in. Every single one counts. If you are not on the electoral roll, and want to participate, please register. Go to Elections New Zealand on 0800 ENROL NOW (0800 36 76 56) or www.elections.org.nz or email enrol@elections.org.nz