Protest for beloved city

BY MICHELLE LOTTER
Last updated 05:00 30/04/2009
Photo: BEN WATSON
HEARTFELT PLEA: George Shierny, 88, is petitioning on the streets of North Shore in the hope of saving the city’s voice.

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Veteran North Shore protester George Shierny is doing his bit to save the city.

Despite a recent stroke making it difficult for him to stand for long periods, the 88-year-old Westlake resident was out and about on Takapuna’s Hurstmere Rd collecting signatures on behalf of his beloved North Shore city.

"One lord mayor for greater Auckland OK but leave us our own local city council. Democracy – people rule the people, not ruled by some lord mayor," his sandwich board read.

And donning a hat emblazoned with "save our city council" – his intentions were clear.

Under the supercity, community boards will have limited powers, Mr Shierny says.

"To only have them do dog control and liquor licensing and graffiti control, it’s a joke isn’t it."

Mr Shierny fears the inevitable creation of a supercity will see local voices hushed in favour of "greater Auckland".

"I fought in the war, I fought for democracy."

And a number of people appear to agree with him, going by the 100 or so signatures he collected.

This is not the first time Mr Shierny’s passion has called him to action.

His last project saw him and his mates build a bus shelter for the "young ladies" of Westlake Girls High School.

He then created other comfortable seating for bus stops after growing impatient with local councils, and ran a campaign with his late wife in the 1980s which prompted the building of bus shelters around the North Shore and Auckland.

Mr Shierny also petitioned in Devonport and now plans to visit Browns Bay to explain the roles of the one Auckland council and local community boards.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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