Objection to petition ban

Hands off Harrop, the group set up to oppose the Dunedin Centre extension, says a decision to ban its petition from the Dunedin Public Library is preventing people from expressing their opinion on the project.

But Dunedin City Council chief executive Jim Harland, who made the decision, said the council's policy was to not allow petitions in the library and that applied to all.

Hands off Harrop member Pat Harrison said when she attempted to leave a petition at the library she was referred to Mr Harland, who told her through his staff she could not do so.

‘‘I feel very strongly about this. I would like to know what the policy is.''

She said the library was a public place and the group wanted to give people who might not make submissions to the council on the issue, the opportunity to add their name.

Mr Harland said the council did not allow commercial companies or advertising in its buildings.

‘‘Similarly, we don't allow petitions, for the reason that if we let one in, whatever comes in, we have to let them all in.

 ‘‘That's the reason. It's not because it's Hands off Harrop.''

He did not know if that policy was written anywhere, but it was the policy the council used. The petition is due back with Hands off Harrop by April 4.

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