On 1 June 2021 Auckland Council received a booking from the Speak Up for Women group (SUFW), for the use of the Ellen Melville Centre on 27 June. The booking was for a meeting to discuss the government’s proposal to pass the Births Deaths Marriage and Relationships Registration Bill into law. On 17 June, following the identification of a critical risk with the event proceeding at that location, Auckland Council informed SUFW that the event could not go ahead at the Ellen Melville Centre and offered a range of alternative venues. On 21 June Auckland Council was served with a legal challenge seeking that the event proceed at the Ellen Melville Centre.
The parties have since agreed that the event can be held in a room within the Town Hall complex.
Auckland Council operates its community venues on the principle that they are accessible to all and available for anyone to hire, subject to the terms and conditions of hire. Accepting a booking is not an endorsement of the event by Council. We recognise that Aucklanders hold a wide range of views on issues and that the rights to freedom of expression and assembly are protected by law. Auckland Council does not discriminate against people or groups based on their political opinions.