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Source: Taxpayers Union

5 MARCH 2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThe New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is condemning Wellington City Council’s refusal to consult on the privatisation of the central library as undemocratic.“Wellingtonians threatened with a 13.5 percent rate hike deserve a full menu of cost-saving options during consultation on the Long-Term Plan,” says New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman and Wellington ratepayer Louis Houlbrooke.“Councillors seem to have their heads in the sand about the painful impact of the proposed rate hike. Cost-saving measures such as library privatisation are no longer a political taboo – councillors may be surprised at the level of support from ratepayers keen to avoid a decade of compounding rate hikes.”“The decision to override council officers and remove the library proposal from consultation documents sidelines the views of ratepayers, all for the sake of outdated ideology. It’s an undemocratic move that opens the council up to legal challenges from those who were counting on a full and proper consultation.”“In fact, a thorough consultation should review a wider suite of the council’s assets. The new convention centre and even the Town Hall present opportunities for scaling back the council’s investments. These building projects look more and more like liabilities with each cost blowout and missed deadline.”