Local Board Goals…
Last month, the elections for our local boards brought about change in terms of who represents local residents across the North Shore. On Auckland Council, George Wood retained his seat representing the Shore, with Chris Darby joining him by replacing Ann Hartley on the Council. Here, we introduce to our readers the new Devonport-Takapuna Local Board. We asked each member, newly elected or re-elected: What are your main goals for the coming term on the Local Board? This is what they said...
I would like to thank the North Shore community for extending their support and confidence to me at the local body elections. I was humbled by the result and pleased that I can focus my efforts on our local communities.
I hope to encourage greater openness and transparency in decision-making and a return to a community focus. There are many issues to start with, but the retention of the Takapuna Camping Ground, rectifying the dodgy last minute Bayswater Marina decision, and addressing the 27 Lake Rd debacle must be some of the more important. Sorting these issues will help restore people’s confidence in their local representatives and enhance the democratic process. A further major project that needs to be addressed this year is the Area Plan for the local Board area. One immediate concern is to enhance and protect our North Shore character, lifestyle and heritage. This goal should be accomplished during the area plan process. I am sure this will require dedicated energy and concentration from board members. It is important that this process is developed in conjunction with meaningful community consultation and input. I am really looking forward to this term.
The first priority for the new Board? Openness and transparency. Instead of closed workshops our new format will allow for two 4.30pm monthly forums with online agendas.
The public will be able to attend and talk at the Open Forum. We are your advocates and must listen to your views whether it be about rates, the Unitary Plan, public transport, roads, parks, footpaths or our community facilities.
One project we need to review is the proposed Korean Garden on Barry’s Point Reserve adjoining The Lakehouse. The Korean Garden Society has raised substantial funds. The Garden will become a tourist attraction, next to Akoranga Station with buses every ten minutes connecting to Takapuna. They will be the only such gardens in Australasia.
Construction of an imaginative children’s playground on Hauraki’s Laketown Green is starting soon. Every area has very active community groups. Friends of Laketown Green is no exception.
Next year there will be a major review of the bus services. Takapuna to the CBD is a fast 15 minute journey via Esmonde Road. However, a more frequent shuttle service is needed. Takapuna is a major town centre, attracting employees and shoppers from all over Auckland. It deserves nothing less.
In the Takapuna area – keeping the focus on Takapuna as a metropolitan centre, progressing the Milford/Takapuna walkway, ensuring that the Hurstmere Rd upgrade gets underway at the earliest opportunity, returning the camp ground to the public for their enjoyment and starting the planning process for a destination playground within the reserve. Progress both the development of Lake Town Green and the enhancement of the Green/Recreation/Cycle route between Takapuna and Devonport, particularly since the opening of the new Northboro Pipe Bridge has seen increased numbers finding and using the route.
Milford – continue and progress the town centre planning process commenced during the past three years.
Devonport – ensure that the work currently underway or planned to start in the near future (Victoria Wharf, Devonport Library, Devonport Wharf and Marine Square, and Clarence St) moves forward in a timely manner, with minimum disruption and remains within budget.
Work with the Sunnynook community to assess their priorities for future planning.
Mike Cohen QSM JP
I am looking forward to working successfully with the returning Board members and the newly elected Allison Roe and Grant Gillon during the second term Devonport-Takapuna Local Board.
In my view that by the Board operating constructively each of us can feel that at the end of the next three years we have made a difference in making our area a great place to live, play, work and do business.
It is vital that as a board we drive the current projects in the pipeline to completion and are well positioned to progress the interests of our Area.
The voting turnout for our area was 23% less than the election in 2010. People didn’t vote because they did not really know the candidates. Further to this, many potential voters did not see the relevance of our Local Board to their lives
The new Local Board, embodying democracy at the “grass roots”, has to address these obstacles and work towards local people feeling that they will be heard and that they can make a difference in influencing what happens in their street, neighbourhood and community.
I want to replace the previous closed workshops with open public Forums that provide the opportunity for community input and are chaired by the holder of specific portfolios, such as Parks. I would like to see changes to times and processes be introduced to make meetings more relevant and for the Board to truly hear, respond to and act on behalf of the Devonport-Takapuna community.
If there is one thing I have learnt from the past three years on the Board, it’s that things move much slower in the Council than anyone would reasonably expect. For that reason I am committed to work toward finally completing some of the Board’s biggest priorities:
It’s about time we sort Takapuna out. For the past three years we have been talking about the future potential of our only metropolitan area in the North Shore Ward, but the Council is still slow in coming to the party. Key transformational projects such as the upgrade of Hurstmere Road streetscape, Takapuna Beach out-flows, the NOWSC and implementing the Takapuna Strategic Framework are ways to follow on from Hurstmere Green.
Connecting the dots. Our transport options for recreation and commuting need to be completed. Projects such as the Milford-to-Takapuna Coastal Walkway, Devonport Green Route and Regional Public Transport Network need to be put into place.
We need to re-engage our youth. Those under 25 represent 40% of our population and yet they’re barely listened to in planning decisions and funding priorities always seem to be skateparks. Investigating an appropriate mode and operation for a youth centre on the Shore remains a priority for me.
As a new local board member it is my goal to get up to speed as fast as possible. The future will be about an agreed vision, strategy and values for change regardless of who gets what portfolio. I would like to see our area as the healthiest, happiest place to live in New Zealand. That requires thought and research into our environment as to how we improve air quality, recreation, youth and arts facilities, cycling, walking and our coastline.
I am interested in exploring support from local business, community, outside stakeholders and fundraising initiatives to strengthen any plan or budget, be that a ‘gateway’ economic initiative like the Devonport wharf re-development, a kids playground for Takapuna, the upgrade of Hurstmere Road or progressing the Milford/Sunnynook town centres.
I would like our local board to stand out from the crowd, to be the most listening, thinking, responsive team finding ways to drive the change that our people want and deserve to see on the Shore.
The Waitemata District Health Board elections resulted in the formation of a new board as follows:
Max ABBOTT, Health Board Action
Sandra CONEY, Independent
Warren FLAUNTY, Health Board Action
James LE FEVRE
Christine RANKIN, Independent – Conservative Party
Following last month’s elections the Kaipatiki Local Board now looks like this:
Grant GILLON, Team of Independents
John GILLON, Team of Independents
Danielle GRANT, Kaipatiki Voice
Ann HARTLEY, Kaipatiki Voice
Richard HILLS, Kaipatiki Voice
Kay MCINTYRE, Kaipatiki Voice
Lorene PIGG, Team of Independents
Lindsay WAUGH, Kaipatiki Voice