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Double dipping a serious issue says instigator

LIZ WILLIS
Last updated 05:00 04/03/2014
grant gillon
Grant Gillon.

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MP Maggie Barry is labelling a Shore politician's claims she is trying to remove him from office as "ridiculous".

But Devonport-Takapuna Local Board member Grant Gillon says it's no conspiracy theory.

Ms Barry, National MP for North Shore, had her bill to stop people serving on two or more Auckland local boards drawn from the member's bill ballot.

Among the few politicians this would affect is Mr Gillon who serves on both Devonport-Takapuna and Kaipatiki local boards.

Mr Gillon believes it's motivated by his support for stopping housing at Bayswater Marina and opposition to closing Takapuna Beach Holiday Park to make way for a national sailing centre.

"There can be no other reason why the local MP considers removing me from office as the most important issue for the North Shore in an election year."

He says the bill is poorly drafted and will force at least six costly by-elections across Auckland.

Mr Gillon notes he was the polled the highest in Kaipatiki and second highest in Devonport-Takapuna and was open that he lived in Kaipatiki.

Ms Barry says Mr Gillon "should not flatter himself" that the bill is directed at him.

"That's ridiculous, frankly."

Ms Barry says the bill clearly states sitting local board members are unaffected.

The former Alliance MP should know no-one can influence the draw, from a biscuit tin with numbered balls in it, she says.

"It's completely the luck of the draw."

Ms Barry says Bayswater Marina and the National Ocean Water Sports Centre site are controversial issues that should be decided by the community.

She says she wants the centre but it must be in a location the public wants.

Ms Barry says she had no idea marina owner Simon Herbert was seeking the freehold of the reclaimed land at Bayswater and was not involved in decision making.

She expects the bill to go before the house in the next few weeks.

"I have the numbers, it will go through."

Ms Barry says double dipping opens up the "real potential for conflicts of interest".

"This has allowed local board power to be concentrated in the hands of a few people, many of whom don't even live in the area they represent."

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