WENDA MORTON LLB; BA; GRAD DIP PSYCH/SOC STUDIES
For DEVONPORT/TAKAPUNA BOARD
THE PEOPLE'S VOICE
An INDEPENDENT VOICE that intends to keep decision making powers with the people of the Shore, not bureaucrats in Wellington.
The North Shore is a distinctive region, with its own unique culture, history and coastal environment. Let’s not become an unremarkable sub-district of Auckland City.
Let’s ensure Takapuna is more than just another soulless CBD. Let's protect and celebrate our history. Let's make sure our suburbs retain their individual identities. Let’s promote growth that fits with a long-term vision of the Shore as a place of COMMUNITY, ECONOMIC SUCCESS and ENVIRONMENTAL UNIQUENESS.
I have lived in the Devonport/Takapuna Board area for 30 years and have worked in it as a lawyer, business woman and counsellor whilst raising my family.
I want the Shore’s interests vigorously promoted and protected under the Super City regime, including the proper and transparent use of ratepayers’ money, community-led sustainable quality development and access to facilities.
The Business of Coucil
I don’t know about you but I did not want Hide’s Super City but love or hate the idea we now have it and we need the best people to run it. Simply put, Council is a business. With a population in this board area of over 57,000 and a budget in the millions it is big business and as I see it, you ratepayers are the shareholders of that business and you pay dearly for that privilege with every rates payment.
The Devonport/Takapuna board area’s main assets in this business are our beaches and water frontage. Nowhere in the whole of NZ is there such an urban district edged by water as we have here. Other assets are of course our facilities, our sporting, leisure, cultural and creative heritage and centres and our commerce. But the Takapuna shops are in dire straights somewhat due to the exodus of commercial business to Smales Farm and retail to Albany, Devonport is struggling to hold on to its history and Milford is having a hell of a time holding off high rise apartments. Intelligent planning is required for both the short and long terms. As part of that planning we need to listen to communities and learn their vision for their areas. If areas such as Milford and Devonport want to see their village-like environments protected and enhanced then the community board must honour that and ensure those areas are not vulnerable to being blindsided by proposed plan changes from developers hungry to make a quick profit. The Takapuna beach and business area needs to be given every assistance to become more vibrant as a subregion of Auckland and as a strategic income earning area for the Shore.
The profit of the business of Council is how the area serves you and that depends somewhat on who you are but for our community to function well we have basic core priorities and they are clean beaches, safety, good transport options, public amenities, culture and commerce.
How I see it, is, because of our proportionately high rates in this area compared to the other parts of the Super City, we run the risk of having our rates monies prop up the likes of Tank Farm development, Eden Park over runs and ‘party centrals’. There is talk now of increasing our billings for water. In the Super City structure we will be paying more than our fair share of rates and it is important that not only is this inequality vigorously challenged but that our area benefits from those payments. It is important that the core matters are addressed first and that we maintain our sewer and storm water pipes, gutters and roads, our beaches, shopping and commercial services, our community and cultural centres, public transport including ferry services; parks, walkways and cycle lanes. It is important too that both short term and long term strategic plans are in place to manage upgrades and improved facilities but big spending does not happen until we know our housework is up to date and we can afford it.
At the end of the day, its not enough to just have good people to run this business of council those people must also understand the needs of its community. I brought up my family in Castor Bay, Takapuna and Milford, my elderly parents both live in the board area in Devonport and now Takapuna. I have worked both in law and health in the area and understand the complexities of community needs. I am a trained listener and have the ability to interpret, consolidate, prioritise and convey clearly what I hear and think. History shows I am not intimidated or pressured by money or position and I undertake to reflect the communities voice in a new local body structure and the business of Council.
The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.
Top 5 Issues
- PUBLIC CONSULTATION:
Better communication between community and board. We don't want another case of litigation to force a community boad to listen!
- PROPER & TRANSPARENT USE OF RATEPAYERS' MONEY:
Accountability for spending
Protection from Super City overspending
- INDEPENDENT VOICE:
We don't want a clique with a pre set agenda fast tracking their personal plans & over-riding the people's voice.
- COMMUNITY-DRIVEN PLANNING;
Planning for our communities and their futures, not to line the pockets of outside investors.
- PROTECTION OF OUR UNIQUE ENVIRONMENTS & OUR LOCAL HISTORY:
With New Zealand's largest urban coastline, and a rich creative & sporting heritage our assets are worth protecting & celebrating.
- long-time resident of the Devonport/Takapuna Board area and
- has worked in it as a lawyer, businesswoman and counsellor whilst raising her family and managing commercial interests.
- She understands the diverse needs of the community.
- Wenda served on the board of a North Shore community health facility.
- She helped resurrect the Milford Residents and Ratepayers Association to challenge the lack of public consultation in the Mall project and
- initiated the successful prosecution of a house-haulage company for foreshore damage.
Authorised by W V Morton of 5/21 Saltburn Road Milford
Questions answered by Wenda Morton
Wenda Morton's Reply
I believe Mike Cohen has aptly answered this question.
I would like to add, however, that from what I understand, there are also significant funding issues should the council remove the lanes. Also it is very important that there is an ongoing move to encourage people out of cars.
I travel Lake Road by car and occassionaly by cycle and what I have noticed is that there are wide footpath areas on much of Lake Road and large \\\'chevron strips\\\' (white diagonal markings) in the middle. Has the idea of a three lane system been explored whereby two lanes carry traffic one way and one lane the other depending on peak traffic flows - similar to that used in Panmure and operated by a light systrem? With the unused width there already it may be a common sense and cost efficient idea worth looking at and one that allows for cycle lanes but helps ease traffic flow.
If elected to Board I will make it a priority to bring myself au fait with the Lake Road problems and support and push for initiatives to relieve the problems.
check out other candidate's answers
I believe in public ownership of our key infrastructure assets and keeping them under New Zealand control.check out other candidate's answers
Results - Final
- Dianne Hale
- Chris Darby
- Kevin Schwass
- Mike Cohen
- Jan O'Connor
- Joseph Bergin
- Ivan Dunn
- Michael Sheehy
- Fay Freeman
- Wenda Morton
- Mary-Anne Benson-Cooper
- Ken McKay
- Gay Richards
- Robyn Chalmers
- Tony Wareham
- Martin Lawes
- Shane Coleman
- Valerie Winn
- Kevin Brett