Equitable funding of services across the Auckland region is one of our local board priorities.
Facilities like the Estuary Arts Centre, Centrestage Theatre and the Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre should have the same access and certainty around operational funding as other Auckland facilities.
Our presentation to the council’s Finance and Performance Committee helped highlight this issue. We met with the Mayor and discussed a situation that dates back many years prior to Auckland Council’s establishment. These facilities were set up without access to ongoing operational funding. We made a strong case and were delighted when we heard that $100,000 is being allocated to the youth centre for 12 months (HM June 5). A study into youth facilities across the region will take place in the next 12 months. This is important because there is no guarantee this funding will continue.
Local boards receive around two percent of the council’s budget, which doesn’t go far, and it takes time to achieve things. So, it was exciting last month when a new park opened on Bonair Crescent in Millwater. Your local board partnered with the developer who did an amazing job providing picnic areas for neighbours to meet and a playground for all ages.
At a recent session about playground equipment and park layout, I was reminded how things change. Climbing a tree was the norm in my day but now it has the potential to become a health and safety issue. Discussions focused on children who are stuck to computers and encouraging them to get active.
Recently I met an enthusiastic group of young women and men at the Orewa Surf Club Dinner and Awards Night. Not only were they enjoying each other’s company, they train and compete in competitions; they also provide a vital service to our community.
Very soon, people will stand for their community in the local government elections. It is very rewarding; candidates have many reasons for standing and doing what they can to make our community an even better place. Like everything you do, if you decide to stand for the council or a local board then make time first to find out what is expected. There is a lot of information on hand to help with your decision. I recommend attending council and local
Pick up a candidate booklet at a local board office or service centre, or visit www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/elections/