A local rebellion

Bernard Orsman at the Herald reports:

Super City mayor-elect will face angry protesters today at an invitation-only opening of a park honouring , his outgoing chief executive at the .

The naming of Leigh Auton Reserve on a historic coastal farming block between Beachlands and Maraetai has upset some locals, a local community website and local community board member Lance Gedge, who is boycotting the event.

Bevan Craig, one of six locals who spent $20,000 of his own money going to court to secure the reserve, said “Mr Auton and his henchmen” had walked all over the community for years.

“It is an insult to the many that fought hard against the council and developer to secure that reserve to find it now being named after the person they had to fight” said Mr Craig.

If Mr Craig is correct in his assertion that the Council was a hindrance, not a help, in securing the reserve then it does seem very insensitive to name it after the Council CEO.

Last night, a council spokeswoman said Mr Brown and Deputy Mayor Gary Troup initiated the naming of the park in recognition of Mr Auton’s 32 years’ contribution to the city.

She said residents of Clevedon and Maraetai were not consulted about the name because it was not required in the parks naming process.

Consultation with the public not legally required, so we won’t do it.

Asked why the local community was not consulted on the name of the park, a spokesman for Mr Brown said last night: “The community board is the community.”

I can think of a lot of people who would disagree with that.

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