The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

Open Letter to the Chair of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce John Lindsay – Why was Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright excluded from the ‘Meet the candidates breakfast meeting 9 September 2010?

30 September 2010

OPEN LETTER TO CHAIRMAN OF THE AUCKLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – JOHN LINDSAY

Complaint by Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright to the Human Rights Commission:

RE: Being denied access to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce ‘Meet the Candidates’ breakfast meeting held on Thursday 9 September 2010 at the Heritage Hotel.

Dear John,

I have received a written response from the Human Rights Commission, regarding my complaint.

I was advised to write to the Chairman of the Chamber, John Lindsay, about my concerns, which, as summarised by the Human Rights Commission senior staff member handling this complaint, are as follows:

“To summarise, you wished to speak at a

“Meet the (Mayoral) Candidates” 9 September 2010 breakfast meeting arranged by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce (“the Chamber”).

You complained that only three Super City mayoral candidates, Len Brown, John Banks and Andrew Williams were invited to speak at the breakfast.

You stated that you asked the Events Manager Rebecca Seymour-East if you could speak. You said she advised you that it was too late for you to be a speaker but you could register and pay to attend the breakfast.

You informed the Commission that you followed the process but were denied access to the breakfast.

The Commission acknowledges your statement that you felt angry and humiliated.

You claimed that Rebecca Seymour-East has refused to give you any reasons as to why you were denied entry.”

_______________________________________________________________________________

Evidence that I followed the process as outlined by Auckland Chamber of Commerce Events Manager Rebecca Seymour-East, follows:

to events@chamber.co.nz,
waterpressure@gmail.com
date Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 12:47 AM
subject Confirmation of attendance at the ‘meet the mayoral candidates’ event Thursday 9 September 2010
mailed-by gmail.com

9 September 2010

As per my telephone discussion yesterday with Rebecca – I am confirming my attendance at your ‘meet the mayoral candidates’ event Thursday 9 September 2010.

Kind regards

Penny Bright

Auckland Mayoral Candidate

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127
____________________________________________

FURTHER INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE HRC:

I am advised by the Human Rights Commission:

“To advance the first element of your complaint of unlawful discrimination you would need to show that the group of mayoral candidates that was not invited to speak at the breakfast shared a common factor covered by the prohibited grounds of the HRA.”

EVIDENCE THAT THIS AUCKLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ‘MEET THE (MAYORAL) CANDIDATES BREAKFAST MEETING WAS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC:

www.eventfinder.co.nz/2010/sep/auckland-cbd/meet-the-candidates-aucklands-super-city

When:
Thu 9 Sep, 7:30am–9:15am
Where: Heritage Hotel & Conference Centre, 35 Hobson St, Auckland CBD Show map
Restrictions: All Ages
Ticket Information:

* Chamber members (excl GST): $50.00
* Non-members (excl GST): $65.00
* Table of 10: Chamber members (excl GST): $500.00
* Table of 10: Non-members (excl GST): $650.00
* Buy Tickets – 09 309 6100
* Booking fees may apply

Website:

* Auckland Chamber of Commerce

Have your say about this super city. Nominations for the first ever Auckland Super City Mayor have officially closed and now it’s up to you to decide who gets the job. The Auckland Chamber of Commerce invites you to hear from three of the most prominent candidates at a special informative breakfast.

Len Brown, John Banks and Andrew Williams will square off and promote their policies for a greater Auckland as the city’s history is written before your eyes. There will be a two-course plated breakfast, not to mention plenty of food for thought.

If you are interested, undecided, or have a strong opinion of your own, this is your opportunity to get involved. The first Auckland Super City elections will be remembered in years to come, so join us at this eventful breakfast and be part of Auckland’s history. Register now to avoid disappointment.


    To register for this event please email events@chamber.co.nz.

This event will be held in the Grand Tearoom at the Heritage Hotel.
Event author’ avatar
Event listed by Chamber of Commerce

_____________________________________________

(My underlining).
______________________________________________

A) Please provide me with a copy of the invitation from the Auckland Chamber of Commerce to Auckland Mayoral candidates, requesting that they address the ‘Meet the (Mayoral) Candidates” 9 September 2010 breakfast meeting.

B) Please advise me on what lawful grounds I was excluded from attending the ‘Meet the (Mayoral) Candidates” 9 September 2010 breakfast meeting, when:

1) This breakfast meeting was publicly advertised as being open to ‘non-members’, the cost of the ticket being (excl GST): $65.00), and ‘all ages’.

2) I had ‘registered’ my interest in attending, by email, as advised by Auckland Chamber of Commerce Events Manager Rebecca Seymour-East.

3) I arrived at the event, with cash to pay for my ticket, but was excluded by Auckland Chamber of Commerce Events Manager Rebecca Seymour-East, although I had followed exactly the process she had outlined the previous day.

C) Please explain how such behaviour by staff employed by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce:

‘assist(s), promote(s) and advance(s) the interest of the commercial community participating in commerce and industry especially in the region of Auckland and generally throughout New Zealand’,

(as per Rule 2.1.3. of the THE AUCKLAND REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY (INCORPORATED)

www.chamber.co.nz/Chamber/files/83/8399e468-a2e2-44e5-ad4a-c833715ee9a7.pdf

D) Please provide a copy of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce ‘Register of Interests’, where ‘senior management’ list their ‘pecuniary’ and ‘non-pecuniary’ interests, including membership of political parties.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bright
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”

AUCKLAND MAYORAL CANDIDATE

www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825

021 211 4 127

_____________________________________________

BACKGROUND LETTER – WIDELY DISTRIBUTED:
_____________________________________________

‘Open Letter

10 September 2010

Complaint filed with the Human Rights Commission after Auckland Chamber of Commerce denies Mayoral candidate Penny Bright access to ‘Meet the Candidates’ breakfast meeting, Thursday 9 September at the Heritage Hotel.
_____________________________________________________

“I’m sure there would have been some honest and decent businesspeople who would have been VERY interested in what I had to say, had the Auckland Chamber of Commerce not denied me entry,” says Auckland Mayoral Candidate Penny Bright.

The only Mayoral candidates invited to speak were the current Mayors – John Banks, Len Brown and Andrew Williams.

Ms Bright, ‘judicially-recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters, was not invited to attend as either a Mayoral candidate or as a member of the audience, despite her proven track record in fighting for ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government.

Notification of this event, was emailed to Ms Bright from a friend.

“I was advised by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce Events Manager, that it was too late for me to be a ‘speaker’, and if I wished to attend, I would need to pay the same ‘non-member’ registration fee, as everyone else.

So – I followed the ‘process’ as I had been so advised, by Auckland Chamber of Commerce Events Manager, emailed to express my interest in attending, and arrived at 7.30am, 9 September 2010, with enough cash to cover the non-member $65 (+ GST) entrance fee.

(My intention was to use the opportunity to mix and mingle – (‘network’), as I have done on other occasions where, as a Mayoral candidate, I have not been given a formal opportunity to address the gathering.)

The same above-mentioned ‘Events Manager’ denied me entry – no reasons given – despite my having done exactly what she had asked of me.

How such woefully ignorant and discriminatory behaviour, by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce:

‘assist(s), promote(s) and advance(s) the interest of the commercial community participating in commerce and industry especially in the region of Auckland and generally throughout New Zealand’,

(as per Rule 2.1.3. of the THE AUCKLAND REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY (INCORPORATED)

http://www.chamber.co.nz/Chamber/files/83/8399e468-a2e2-44e5-ad4a-c833715ee9a7.pdf

– is quite beyond me.

Perhaps the Directors of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce need to ensure that the good judgment of key employees in such matters is not impaired by their membership of partisan political organisations standing in these Auckland Council elections?

I have filed a formal complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

The Auckland Chamber of Commerce have picked on the wrong woman!” concluded Ms Bright.

Penny Bright
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”

AUCKLAND MAYORAL CANDIDATE

http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825

021 211 4 127

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September 30, 2010 - Posted by | Auckland Mayoral campaign, Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights, Stop the $uper City

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