Tag Archive: Auckland City Council

Let them voice their opinions

Far right Canadians Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux have been banned from speaking at venues owned by Auckland City Council during their trip to NZ.

Southern and Molyneux have controversial opinions on feminism, gender, and especially Islam.

The Islamic community unsurprisingly voiced their opposition.

Hazim Afra, president of the New Zealand Federation of Islam Associates, said the following:

“[She] abuses her right of freedom of speech. She’s just going to give a talk in which she’s just going to insult all of us,” Mr Arafeh said.

“I don’t think insulting Muslims comes under free speech, that’s an abuse of freedom of speech.

“I’m talking on behalf of 50,000 to 60,000 Muslims in New Zealand who are going to face a very hard time by all the comments she is going to make.”

I’m not going to lie: I find people like Southern and Molyneux racist and Islamophobic.

However, in the end, I also believe that they, just like everyone else, want a better society for everyone to live in.

And, we should let those who do not agree with us voice their views.

Southern and Molyneux should be allowed to speak at council venues.


No confidence in Goff

Earlier this week, nine out of the twenty Auckland City Council councilors penned a letter of no confidence to mayor Phil Goff. 

Nine out of twenty councilors. Nearly half. This is no small thing.

Councilor Chris Fletcher has also accused Goff of bullying him.

But, that’s not the main reason councilors are rebelling against Goff. What is going on?

Well, Goff wanted to abandon Eden Park, Auckland’s main stadium for a new one on the waterfront. Fair enough.

Well, what happened next? The Herald can explain this better than I can.

Not all council members want to abandon Eden Park but their disgruntlement was over restrictions Goff has placed on the circulation of the report by consultants PwC for the council subsidiary, Regional Facilities Auckland. Goff released a redacted version of the report, blocking out some passages to preserve commercial confidences.

He refused to give councillors the full report in electronic form but they could read printed copies in council offices so long as they did not copy them or take them away. Goff says the Ombudsman was satisfied these arrangements met the legal requirements of freedom of information in local government but some councillors were naturally annoyed and insulted to be treated this way.

And so this was the big kicker that caused the motion of no confidence.

To put it lightly, Auckland Council is a shambles. And if Goff wants to keep the number of councilors who are rebelling from rising, Goff has to change his ways.