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AUCKLAND COUNCIL with George Wood

Takapuna Metropolitan Centre Receives Special “Spatial Area” Status

 In order to ensure that resources are targeted to the areas that will give the best return, Councillors have decided on ten spatial areas across Auckland.  These areas will be the subject of special attention as Auckland Council looks to accelerate the provision of more intensive housing and business development.  As we move into the setting of the 2015 to 2025 Long Term Plan budgets, extra attention will be given to Takapuna’s future needs.

During the past 15 years, there has been huge discussion as to the future of the Takapuna Metropolitan Centre, an area which also includes Barrys Point Road business section, Smales Farm and the North Shore Hospital medical precinct.  Councillors have visited Takapuna on a number of occasions and now fully realise that there is considerable potential in the area especially in the creation of more high quality jobs.

The Devonport-Takapuna Local Board has been working hard since the inception of the new Auckland Council to implement change in this area.  They have prepared a draft Area Plan to fully scope out the needs of the area and a new Takapuna Centre Plan has been completed.  Implementation of the necessary changes including the revamp of Hurstmere Road, decisions on the future of the Anzac Street car park, a new plan as to how traffic will be managed and the finalization of the Takapuna Beachfront.   It is important that the necessary funding to see this plan implemented is included in the council’s next ten-year plan commencing on 1 July 2015. 

Caring Community Organisations on the Shore

At the recent North Shore Hospital Auxiliary AGM, I was privileged to meet with the tireless group of women who work behind the scenes to provide hospital care to numerous patients. These ladies work tirelessly throughout the North Shore, Rodney and Waitakere area to provide a homely and comforting experience for many patients.

This organisation has been performing a high-level of care for 42 years now, and under the strong leadership of Mrs Margaret King it was impressive to view the rallying of troops behind the scenes at the AGM.  When I was the Mayor of the former North Shore City, both my wife Myra and I were even able to witness first-hand the wonderful work that these tireless and hardworking volunteers undertake.

At the meeting, Mrs King outlined the various tasks that they have accomplished in the different wards of the hospital. One such example is the nine volunteers who meet at the hospital sewing room each Wednesday morning to make a large number of clothing and blankets for patients. They also sew massive 7kg rice bags that are used in the beds to prevent patients from slipping down.  

Through Mrs King’s speech, I was able to gain a detailed understanding of the organisation, from the purchasing of the rice from local supermarkets to the extensive communication that the volunteers have with ward charge nurses to further understand the individual patient needs. This attention to extra detail enables the volunteers to make the time that patients spend in wards much more comfortable. 

 The North Shore Auxiliary team reminded me of how effective assistance can be when it is done on a grassroots level. In this instance, people directly helping others in the community using cost-effective methods. It was very impressive to find that the organisation was able to make every dollar count and still finish the financial year with a healthy balance. 

The ladies of the North Shore Auxiliary team are a fine example of the superb work that many North Shore community organisations undertake every day. I applaud their continual efforts and all other community organisations working to assist the residents of the North Shore. 

Contact: George.Wood@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz 

by George Wood

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