Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Waitemata Local Board Auckand

Today I accepted nomination for a seat on the Waitemata Ward. I will put community back into community, local back into local.

The Waitemata Ward needs a strong, positive and collaborative voice at the table to push for a vibrant, prosperous Auckland. I want to be part of making a ward that empowers and works and that promotes democracy as a foundation for our growth and prosperity. I want a ward that makes sure it gets the basics right.

I am enjoying meeting and talking to residents in the Waitemata Ward as I discuss my key policy aims. These aims include solid infrastructure, affordable rates, resilience against the risks we may face, and having the features we expect of a leading city. A city that can be, and I believe is, the first city of the Pacific. Please check out my blog Gerry O’ Ponsonby and my website GerryHill.co.nz for more information. I walk my talk.

I understand the economic importance of Tourism, Heritage, Arts and Culture and the opportunities they bring to local communities. They also help sustain small businesses and provide jobs in our communities. Perhaps more importantly, their influence cannot be underestimated in providing a sense of time and place, which will anchor future generations and speak for ours.

Getting the basics right isn’t just a feel-good tagline. Rather, it is focusing on the core things that make a city liveable. I was staggered when Auckland Council steamed on with their Unitary Plan earlier this year, after 22,700 citizens made submissions on the plan. There is plenty of work to be done to cement our reputation as a most liveable city in the World.

I was disappointed with the Council Officers’ refusal to provide Councillor Coney with information in relation to the Unitary Plan. This was wrong and will not look after the interests of the public. Elected councillors act for those who know that the Unitary Plan will affect the long term interests of their families and community. Management should have neither right nor ability to withhold vital information required for council decision making. At a local board level I will support democracy at all levels of Council and community.

Intensification is happening in our ward, and the important thing is that we have guidelines and make provision for our new residents. I am therefore committed to the Nosh Site at 254 Ponsonby Road becoming a full park with public amenities. Intensification also provides wonderful opportunities for mainstreet businesses, public amenities and life. I support maximising these opportunities as long as it remains within the public interest.
We need to discuss effective transportation options and why there has been limited progress on cycle lanes and walking routes from suburbs into the CBD. To this end I support cycle lanes along the link bus route. Walking would become more popular if we a net work connecting the entire heritage walks from the central city to the suburbs and throughout the city. This will show case some of the best of Auckland and will increase civic pride.
   The Government commitment to the inner-city rail link, although welcome, was begrudging and has more holes it than an old cardigan. Bus routes and quality of services require more effort. A tram line from Wynyard to Britomart would be economic, for example.

Wellington has had, and is still having, a rough old time but most Wellingtonians are prepared. They had emergency kits and their emergency services and civil defence worked. Their earthquakes have led me to think that, thankfully, we have not had earthquakes in the Waitemata Ward, however, a recent tornado did cause loss of life and we do have slips and landslides. Part of our civil defence discussion must also be about what we are to do if Rangitoto erupts.

Thankfully, Wellington was able to stand up to events and their Council had a key role in mitigating the risks. I will work to help build resilient communities and a board that has the resolve to ensure we are well placed to deal with adversity. The Unitary Plan has scant mention of civil defence and emergency services. If you elect me to the Waitemata ward we will sort this failure.

Gerry Hill,
Your proudly independent candidate for the Waitemata Ward
Please contact by email gerrydhill@gmail.com or by phone or text at 021 659111