MP hears community concerns

Marja Lubeck

Even an apparently well-off community still faces serious issues and challenges, and it needs support and cohesion when dealing with the effects of rapid growth and bureaucracy.

That was the overriding message to local list MP Marja Lubeck, when she visited Matakana last month for a special community meeting.

The visit was organised by Heron’s Flight winery owner Mary Evans, who said she wanted Ms Lubeck to understand the Matakana community.

“I think we’ve been ignored a bit,” she said. “People think we can cope by ourselves, that we’re quite a rich community.”

She said she had talked with a lot of people about problems facing the area and there was a long list, including traffic, affordable housing and rentals, water, food production, employment, recreational land, environmental issues and Matakana losing its “village” character.

Matakana Community Group chair Rachel Demler said last year’s drought, followed by Covid-19, had made her realise there was more diversity in the area than originally thought.

“We can’t always cope on our own and we do have people who are struggling,” she said.

Frustration was voiced at the fact that, despite significant housing developments going in, developers’ contributions to Auckland Council were not spent on supporting infrastructure in the area, a former practice that stopped when the Supercity was formed.

Ms Lubeck said there was often a disconnect between what happened at government level and what went through councils, but she could at least communicate community concerns.

“It’s really important that I get information from you, then I can do lobbying,” she said. “I’m not promising

I can fix all these things, but I can bring attention to those who might not have known about them.

“I’m really happy to take questions away and try to get answers and maybe come back and report on certain issues.”

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