AUCKLAND COUNCIL with George Wood
Farewell Dr Wayne Mapp
Hon Dr Wayne Mapp
I recently attended a function to farewell our local North Shore Member of Parliament, the Honourable Dr Wayne Mapp who is retiring after 15 years in this office. It is good to hear that Wayne and his wife Denise have plans for new vocations in the next chapter of their busy lives. Wayne’s decision to depart was a surprise but we wish him and Denise every success.
I had a great working relationship with Wayne that spanned nine years whilst I was also mayor of the former North Shore City. It was times of much action on the home front with huge sums of money being spent on upgrading the sewerage and storm water networks along with roading and public transport improvements.
Wayne was always a wise sounding board, especially in the aspect of what ratepayers were able to afford. I always appreciated the regular meetings we had and valued his wise counsel.
The Voluntary Social Services Sector
If there is one sector of the North Shore community that I have the greatest admiration for it is the voluntary social services sector. I remember going to my first meeting of the Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) when I was mayor. It was a formal session where organisations seeking money from Government through the COGS system had to plead their cases in a public forum.
What an eye-opener when one saw all these different groups having to plead their cases in front of all the other groups. How community groups find the energy to keep pushing themselves to find their funding is amazing. They all then go out and deliver first class services to the people of the North Shore. I firmly believe that the North Shore has community services that are the top rate even though they, in many cases, work on a shoestring budget.
Currently Auckland Council is working on a new funding policy and both Councillor Ann Hartley and I am at the vanguard of this work. We will certainly ensure that adequate funding stays in place for North Shore organisations.
Liaison meetings with Waitemata Police
In mid October the North Shore councillors and local board chairs meet with Superintendent Bill Searle, the Waitemata District police commander, along with his area commanders. The North Shore commander, Inspector Les Paterson, just back from Timor Leste where he served nine months as the Officer in Charge of the NZ Police deployment with the United Nations also attended the meeting. It is great to welcome back Inspector Paterson and we all thank him for his commitment to this deployment.
Waitemata District and the North Shore Police have had another successful year, according to the latest crime statistics issued by Police National HQ. Well done to all the police staff who serve us with such dedication and distinction on the North Shore.
Youth beach parties are very topical with the warmer months upon us. Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman Chris Darby will be working closely with the police on this issue. Police need to be advised early whenever residents get an inkling that a gathering of young people may have the potential to become difficult to handle. Being forewarned is being forearmed in these situations.
Auckland Council’s Solid Waste Plan
This plan will be coming out for consultation with the community on 10 November and the submission period goes through to 15 December. Whilst I appreciate Auckland Council seems to be consulting on everything at the moment how we handle our solid rubbish at the kerb side is very important. The North Shore has been a leader in rubbish disposal and our recycling is top notch.
The three big issues are: Do we want to go to a commingled recycling where we put our paper in a large bin along with the cans and bottles; are you interested in putting out the organic kitchen waste in a special bin each week for composting and does the North Shore want to change from the current pay as you go plastic bags to large bins paid through general rates for the general rubbish?