Chch marchers want democracy back

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012

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Cantabrians will march through Christchurch next month to demand the Government "give back democracy".

The rally is being organised by many organisations, including Save Our Schools, IConIC, Historic Places Canterbury, WeCan, the Christchurch Civic Trust, Save Hagley Park, TC3 Residents, Water Interests and Wizard of NZ Inc.

It will begin at 2pm on December 1, starting in Latimer Square and ending in Cranmer Square.

Rally spokesman Ross Gray, of Historic Places Canterbury, said all of the groups involved suffered from a lack of democracy and the Government's "dictatorial approach to Canterbury".

"A wave of discontent has been gathering over the loss of democracy in Christchurch since early 2010 and during the earthquake recovery, with Government and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) making decisions without any input and consultation with the citizens of Christchurch and its elected members," he said.

City councillor Glenn Livingstone, another spokesman for the march, said: "We're having this rally because once we join up the dots with what's been happening in Christchurch, the loss of democracy is quite apparent."

Wayne Hawker, of Save Our Schools, said the schools proposal was a "top-down consultation approach" .

"Schools have been savaged, with pretend consultation, falsely based claims and wildly inappropriate solutions to problems," he said.

"There appears to be no consideration for communities and the real people they will affect in announcing these destructive proposals."

Gray said protesters would march past the Provincial Council Buildings, the "symbol of local democracy".

"This will be the place where we will demand with one voice our city, our say. We want our city back."

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