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Auckland ratepayers condemn $500k slogan

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/11/2016

An Auckland ratepayer group has added its condemnation to reports the city council spent $500,000 to rebrand its promotional slogan.

NZME on Saturday reported it had obtained leaked documents about the rebranding in which the team behind the exercise had taken two years to come up with the tagline: The Place Desired by Many.

The Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance said, incredibly, the new slogan was a just translation of Tamaki Makaurau, the Ngati Whatua iwi's name for the city.

"This must be the most expensive two-word translation in the history of Auckland," alliance spokeswoman Jo Holmes said.

ACT leader David Seymour also jumped on the report, saying the money could have been better spent tackling housing affordability, congestion and public safety.

He suggested slogans, such as "the place where my kids will afford a home before I die" and "the place where I'm not stuck in traffic all the time" better reflected what Auckland residents wanted from their council.

But Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development chief executive Brett O'Riley, whose team led the project under instructions from councillors, said no final decision had been made.

He also said "the place desired by many" was not a new Auckland slogan but rather an underlying theme behind a larger research project.

He said consultation for the research project included more than 100 interviews with Aucklanders, an online survey garnering 4000 responses and a campaign attracting 50,000 social media engagements.

A final decision on "a new brand proposition for Auckland" will not be made until further consultation has taken place, Mr O'Riley said.

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