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THE CITIZENS' LEAGUE., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909
THE CITIZENS' LEAGUE.
Iw»riL BY-ELECTION AND HAR- \ , the Auckland _f Tfddresses were delivered touching S na^f l ch e air M -.polog:es M for ioch occupled _ the cha - HKE -5555. Dr. Walker, and runnel Bolgate. °Tto chairman, in his opening remarks W id that they were there to get men of imminent position and integrity to C tteirTnews before the public. In the unavoidable absence ol Mr. C. J. P»rr the municipal election question would be explained by Mr. W. E. Hackctt. Mr E W Alison would be able to throw lit upon the very vital question of the grbb_r Board franchise. If Zealand was going to be a great and democratic country they must try to induce tie public to think, and then vote ac•cording to their consciences. Mr W E. Backett expressed regret at the absence of Mr. C. J. Parr, but under unexpected circumstances, he would try to pa-ice the position before them as dearly and concisely as possible. The Lea-nic had attracted a degree of importwee' and respect which drew to their ranks men of whom they should be -roud, and to whom they owed a debt of Ltitude for their services to the community. The election of Mr. C. D. Grey to the Mayoralty had created a vacancy which resulted in the people being confronted with the necessity for a byelection, when there were only a couple ! of meetings before, the general c ections of the Council. It was generally felt among the public that this election was nnnectssa-y and absurd. Therefore the, Leajrue decided to try and induce those, -entlemen who had been nominated not to force a by-election. Mr. P. J. Nerheny \ 'was nominated as the Leagues candidate provided the others could not be prevailed upon to withdraw their candidature The committee then secured tho promise of Mr. G. Davis not to contest the election, when he heard the League's views but Mr. W. Thompson refused, and ••o most probably the election would take place The League was of opinion that there' should be a similar provision for the filling of an extraordinary vacancy on "the Council, without an election, as there was for the office of Mayor. There ■was e-ren now time foT Mr. Thompson to be amenable to reason and withdraw, as the other candidates were. Mr. Hackett then moved: "That this public meeting ef the citizens of Auckland is of opinion j that the Municipal Corporations Actj 1900 requires amendment for the purpose i of providing some method whereby_ an! extraordinary vacancy such as now exists in the number of councillors, may be supplied without the necessity for the inconvenience and expense associated with a by-election. That this resolution be forwarded to the Minister in charge of municipal affairs." The motion was seconded by Mr. W. Duncan and carried unanimously. Mr. E. V?. Alison, speaking on the question of Harbour Board franchise, congratulated the League upon the size ef the. gathering and the interest which u-as being taken-in local politics. It was provided that of the 13 members of the Board, four were appointed hy the City Council, two by the Government, one by the Parnell Borough Council, one by the Devonport Borough Council, one by the Birkenhead and W«4tess_'a County, one by the Chamber of Commerce, and three were elected by the payers of dues and registered shipowners, so out of a total board of thirteen, ten were nominees of local bodies and the Government. In some of the Southern cities the Boards were appointed, not in this way, but on the municipal franchise, by the people. The time had arrived when the members of the Auckland Harbour Board must be elected by the people. Representations had been made from time to time to the Government to change the existing order, but without result. They wanted on the . Board well qualified business men, and men who had some knowledge of shipping. There should be direct, but separate, representation for the shipowners and the payers of dues, for it was from these people that a great deal of the Board's revenue was derived. Under the present system it was impossible for .a shipping candidate to be elected, unless he was supported by the payers of dues. They had had an example in Mr. Bradney, who, because he had done his duty, had been rejected. There should be a •weeping away of the whole nominee «ystem. Mr. Alison then moved: "That in the opinion of this meeting it is imperatively necessary that the constitution of the Auckland Harbour Board should be altered so that the members, instead of being, as at present, appointed under a nominee system, should be elected by electors, and that the shipping and commercial interests should have direct representation on the Board—the shipping interests to have at least three "representatives to be directly elected by shipowners, and the commercial interesta . three representatives to be elected by the payers of dues. That this resolution . be forwarded to the Minister of Marine, and he be requested to give effect to the proposals.'' Mr. J. M. Mennie seconded the motion, and said they wanted men who were prepared to do the work of the Board in a fair and fearless way. He thought the League was doing a fine work in bringing forward men of the right stamp to contest ail public positions. He fully agreed that an amendment was urgently needed in the system of Harbour Board franchise, which was at present as bad as it •could be. Mr. W. J. Napier expressed pleasure at the awakening of the civic spirit in .the community. The Harbours Act Amendment Bill, which would come before Parliament next session, provided for the election of members of harbour boards on a purely popular franchise, but it did not provide, and he hoped no bill ever **"ould, for class representation. (Ap- . plause.) He had tried hard for some nme to purify the roll, but the whole system was one which needed amendment. He appealed to them as demo- • jrats not to pass the latter portion of tne resolution, which was undemocratic ■ wm opened the way for class representaj won. (Applause.) ■ •orivLw-?, 011 -, in re P*y* said tbat the . "ngmal bill placed before the House had ■ : not prov.ded for a popular suffrage, as _£_? T CT bad 6tated ' !lai I* was pre- i Pareti to place proof of his contention! : Sh? coniraittee cared to apof tt ! J rould be in the best interests ■ -£the por t ,f they had 0 _ the Ha _ bom . J dnahlo a ,- rea . SOnable "Presentation oi S f^ Pping mea * He still main- *" X an. eP T eatati ° n for the 6l --Psre aui the payers of dues.
An amendment was moved by Mr. Thompson in terms of Mr Napier's suggestion, deleting the latter portion of the resolution, providing for direct representation for shipowners and payers of dues. Tlie amendment was lost by a very considerable majority, and the original resolution carried. Mr. Hall Skelton briefly outlined the objects and intentions of the League, iefly in the matter of the municipal .ction, and spoke in support of Mr. Nerheny's candidature. The following article appeared in part lof our edition yesterday;—
THE CITIZENS' LEAGUE., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909
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