We live in a beautiful place deserving of our care and protection. As much as I can I look to people in the community for advice, suggestions, issues that are coming up and awareness of what’s going on.
A short time ago I attended a meeting on the future of Whangaparaoa. It was constructive and informing with people talking about what makes the place special and focusing on opportunities to make improvements; among them encouraging retail activity and employment, programmes for youth and supporting families. The CYC Trust has some exciting developments underway to help local youth, while the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre in Orewa run an amazing number of vital youth programmes.
Recently Orewa residents have got together to respond to Orewa Beach erosion protection proposals. While options have already been put on the table in a council report that is worth reading, it is clear that there are practical suggestions from residents that deserve consideration. Not least is the need to address the huge volumes of sand that end up trapped in the Orewa Estuary – sand that can make a big contribution to reducing erosion, improving the quality of the beach and the estuary; we need a comprehensive solution. Having an informed conversation with residents, especially those who have studied the beach over the years, is the way to go.
Next year we will continue to see gains for the Coast coming through. Fortunately the proposed zoning changes in the Unitary Plan do not see the intensification proposed for much of Auckland. Getting the point across that density is not possible unless the infrastructure can cope is a constant battle. So is obtaining transport improvements against a background of budget cuts. Recently released proposals for alternative funding identified further land sales, including reserves. Fellow Cr John Watson and I fought hard to keep and extend the park spaces we have.