Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

New name, new style for Citrats

Former Auckland Mayor Christine Fletcher. Photo / Natalie Slade
Former Auckland Mayor Christine Fletcher. Photo / Natalie Slade

Citizens & Ratepayers, the right-leaning political ticket that ran the former Auckland City Council for most of its 74 years, has retired its name and partisan style of politics.

Auckland's oldest political organisation has become Auckland Communities and Residents - still C&R for short - to broaden its appeal across the Super City.

President Mark Brickell said Citizens & Ratepayers was associated with the former Auckland City. C&R, often referred to as Citrats, performed poorly at the first Super City elections, winning just five seats on the 20-strong Auckland Council.

Mr Brickell said Auckland Communities and Residents was a new organisation for a new city with the aim of establishing citywide branches.

It would still focus on limiting rates rises and affordable policies, but planned to abandon the "whipping" system previously used to compel members to vote the same way.

C&R leader Christine Fletcher said the name change recognised that Auckland was made up of many different communities with residents at its heart.

She said key policy changes were a stronger focus on Auckland's regions, greater funding for local boards and opposing excessive spending on the central city.

"It includes supporting land purchases for the city rail link, but not approving a construction timetable until full funding is confirmed," she said.

Left-leaning councillor Mike Lee said Citizens & Ratepayers had changed its name to shake off the negative associations with its discredited brand, but it was a case of the "same old wine in a new bottle".

- NZ Herald

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