Greens Oppose Censorship of Anti-Apec City Councillor

Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke has criticised the censorship of an anti-APEC article in Auckland City’s weekly newsletter, City Scene.

Council public relations manager John May claimed the article, by Councillor Maire Leadbeater, did not fit Audit Office requirements.

“I have seen the article, and it is very relevant to local body politics,” said Mr Locke.

“The whole point about APEC is that it fosters privatisation and contracting out, with overseas firms having free reign.

“These are precisely the issues being debated in Auckland City, in regard to selling off council services, like rental property and water provision.

“The Metrowater debate is about corporatisation and user pays detrimentally affecting poorer citizens. The same sort of debate is taking place in all APEC countries, with APEC taking a user pays and free market line, opposing local protection and subsidies.

“APEC is one of the international contexts within which our national and local body debates take place.

“There seems to be a PR snow-job taking place to promote APEC as the best thing since sliced bread. It’s disappointing to see council officialdom joining this PR campaign, -trying to prevent legitimate debate over APEC, and how it might detrimentally affect Aucklanders,” said Mr Locke.