A further bid by the Northern Action Group to secure a binding referendum on whether North Rodney continues to be part of the Auckland Supercity fell on deaf ears during a meeting with the Minister of Urban Development, Phil Twyford.
Mr Twyford visited Warkworth on Saturday, August 4 to hold meetings at the Warkworth Town Hall with various community organisations and local politicians to listen to their concerns.
NAG chair Bill Townson told Mr Twyford that the separation of North Rodney from Auckland could be a win-win for both regions.
“Mr Twyford listened sympathetically to NAG’s arguments, but was emphatic that he would not support such a referendum as North Rodney was needed for the city’s future growth, although he did not elaborate on how that need should manifest itself,” Mr Townson said after the meeting.
Mr Townson said it was ironic that Mr Twyford was failing to support a referendum because while in Opposition Mr Twyford had organised a protest rally against the creation of the Supercity.
In response, Mr Twyford agreed that Labour had opposed “the undemocratic process” used to establish the Supercity, but nevertheless was unwilling to support a referendum now.
“The Government believes North Rodney is an important part of Auckland. To effectively manage the growth of our largest metropolitan city, we need Auckland Council to respond to the needs of both urban and rural parts of the region,” he said.
During his time in Warkworth, Mr Twyford, who is also Minister of Transport and Minister of Housing, listened to local transport, housing and population growth concerns.
Mr Twyford did not respond to a question about what he might do in response to the issues raised, but did say he had “productive and informative conversations” in relation to local transport issues.