Viewpoint – Be the squeaky wheel

As members of the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, we are at times the decision makers, and at other times we have more of an advocacy role. Either way it’s important for us to listen and act, in whatever capacity and whenever we can.

Set netting has been a huge issue for the residents and visitors of Matakatia Bay for years, being up front and central for the last 12 months in particular. The local board listened intently to the concerns of the community and then took an advocacy role – I lodged a Notice of Motion, with Andy Dunn seconding, followed by Victoria Fletcher and myself presenting to the Regulatory Committee prior to Christmas. A report is being prepared, and we hope to hear back soon. Needless to say we hope this will have the same outcome as other local beaches have had in recent years and the public nuisance and sometimes dangerous behaviour will stop with Matakatia declared set net free over the summer months

The Park ‘n’ Ride in Silverdale has become very popular, and why wouldn’t it – it also helps that it has made a positive impact on the environment by taking more cars off our local roads. So why would there now be talk of charging locals to use park n ride facilities, creating disincentives, when we should be encouraging people to use them? It has been said it is unlikely that charges will come in at our park and ride – but let’s wait and see.

Recently I attended the housing intensification meeting hosted by Councillors Wayne Walker and John Watson at the Whangaparāoa Hall. I know I speak for most, if not all, who attended that meeting, when I say that the presentation was very informative, and also extremely concerning. Thank you to Wayne and John (and Hibiscus Matters, which has published several stories on the topic) for bringing this issue to the attention of the community.

What’s really concerning is how this will impact our infrastructure – already stretched, and no, Penlink won’t fix it! If this intensification goes ahead, no notification will be given to neighbours to demolish a house and replace it with three apartments, three (or potentially four) stories high, with no allocation for parking on-site! We need to all take a stand, speak up, sign petitions, talk to our local MP and be that squeaky wheel.

Finally, what a difference six months makes! It’s great to see everyone out and about, supporting local businesses and starting to enjoy life again, after what has seemed like years of lockdowns and mandates. Please continue to look after yourself and each other. 

Hibiscus & Bays Local Board