AUCKLAND COUNCIL with George Wood
Stadium, Schools & Rates
GEORGE WOOD is a North Shore ward councillor on the new Auckland Council.
The former three-term mayor of North Shore City lives in Forrest Hill with wife Myra.
North Harbour Stadium
The month of June saw some major changes announced for the management of our stadia across the region. I was part of a small group of councillors who met with the chairman of Regional Facilities Auckland, the Auckland Council organisation tasked with managing our facilities such as the Auckland Zoo, Auckland Art Gallery along with the main stadia.
Sir Don McKinnon, the chairman, and Mr Robert Domm, the Chief Executive called and advised that a review was being undertaken as to the future use of the stadia. I certainly liked the approach they were advocating and told them so.
For North Harbour stadium it is great to see that we are being fully recognised as an important regional facility. The stadium has been open since 1997 and has become an important facility in the Auckland sport and entertainment scene. The stadium board lead by Reno Wijnstok and supported by Chief Executive Craig Goodhall are doing a great job. The aquatic centre to be built on the site will be a great addition for the North Shore community.
North Harbour stadium is well placed for further development of the main arena. It was always planned for a second grandstand and an all-weather roof would complete the facility. The Albany Centre area has huge potential that is untapped right now; completing a hotel on the proposed site near the stadium would be a great addition.
North Shore Secondary Schools
The quality of our education on the North Shore is a wonderment to behold.
During the time I was mayor of the former North Shore City it was an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to visit the many wonderful schools on the Shore. As a post war baby boomer it is interesting to recollect the development of secondary schooling across the North Shore. If my recollections are correct there were just eight secondary schools in existence or opening their doors in the 1950s, prior to the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Prior to 1950 the two state secondary schools were Northcote College (it must be mentioned first as it is the oldest being established as a district school in 1877 and it is my alma mater) and Takapuna Grammar, established in 1927. In College Road, Northcote the current Hato Petera College was established in 1927. St Dominic’s was established in Onewa Road, Northcote in 1952 and Carmel College in 1957. In 1956 Rangitoto College was founded followed in 1958 by Westlake when they opened as a co-ed school in Wairau Road.
In the heart of Takapuna St Anne’s School was established on both sides of Gibbons Road back in 1932, as a primary school. Then in 1953 St Annes provided for secondary schooling. This school was situated right on Takapuna beach and also occupied the land where the Takapuna Library and the Mary Thomas Centre now stand. Both girls and boys attended the private school’s kindergarten and then girls continued on through to secondary school. The girls stood out in the community in their boater style hats and smart dress style uniforms.
Notwithstanding our North Shore schools many pupils still travelled across the Waitemata to complete their schooling.
The 1960s saw the establishment of Rosmini School, Westlake split into separate schools on their current sites and Glenfield College opened in 1969. The 1970s saw the arrival of Birkenhead and Long Bay colleges along with Kristin School at Albany. Pinehurst School opened in 1991. In recent years Corelli School and new City Impact Church are also providing secondary education.
Secondary education has played an important part in building the fabric and culture of the North Shore.
Commencement of Rates Bills from Auckland Council
Auckland Council is now fully fledged and underway. The new rates bills are on the way!
This month marks commencement of the first real budget that the current Auckland Council has completed. North Shore residents, especially those living in the Devonport, Takapuna and Milford areas will learn for the first time what the new rates policies for the new council mean.
I didn’t agree with some of the views that Mayor Len Brown brought to the table; however, it is now important that we work through the decisions that have been made. The fact that rates cannot increase more than 10% is some consolation although in many cases that real figure can be quite substantial. People with any queries as to how the rates account is determined should feel free to call me. If I can’t supply the answer I will be able to get help from the appropriate department of Auckland Council.
Councillor George Wood – Email: George.Wood@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz