There has been a lot of emphasis on protecting the Waitakere Ranges and other ecologically friendly things. While I have no problem with that, what are you going to do for those of us who are urban Waitakere residents?
Continue to pursue public transport improvements, rail electrification, work on safe, attractive urban places to live, handy to public transport. Waitakere has undergone a certain amount of urban renewal in town centres but more can still be done. Support the provision of jobs in Waitakere to reduce commuting time and improve residents\' quality of life. Paul and I also have policies around keeping rates down as we have over the last 6 years on ARC, ensuring that public assets such as water, wastewater and Ports are not sold off, no user pays for household wastewater. We want to make sure Waitakere gets its fair share of funding and that it doesn\'t get siphoned off into Auckland central city projects and that Waitakere benefits from regional economic development. Support the continued provision and expansion of high quality public amenities such as libraries, sportsfields, leisure centres and so on. I have a particular interest in protection of built heritage and the reuse of signature public heritage buildings for imaginative public uses. Having tramped the streets delivering pamphlets I also like to see more attention to stormwater management in Waitakere.
Thanks for asking this. Everyone is important, rural and urban. I also live in urban Waitakere. I agree with the mayoral candidate Colin Craig that as much as possible decision making must reflect what local people want and I agree with his push for greater use of binding referenda on deciding local and regional issues. I am aware that the "super city" has been constructed in such a way that the new councillors, unless they are prepared to be very forthright, may easily become mere figureheads.
At the recent meet-the-candidate meetings hosted by the resident and ratepayer groups around West Auckland I have emphasised that all elected politicians (councillors, community board members and MPs) are public servants, and on public issues their first duty is to represent what the people in their area want; and if there is any conflict over an issue between what the council wants and the people of the region or an area then the council must comply with the peoples' wishes. Some politicians try to imply that this would create an impossible situation. That is not so. Experience has repeatedly shown that where such constitutional provisions exist people are much happier with their governments.
In my advertising I have said that politicians (including councillors) should be under similar strict rules as company directors, and even able to be removed by the ratepayers/taxpayers at any time should they become unpopular or are no longer trusted.
I do not believe there is any real conflict between rural and city people on most issues and that it is the sacred duty of councillors to find out how people feel on issues as they arise and represent them faithfully.
As an aside I believe Auckland city, like all cities, is built up from the people; from families and communities and the suburbs. Too often central planners and big time politicians with grand schemes fall into the trap of thinking progress is only achieved by having a lot of centralised power, but that has never produced anything other than higher costs and poorer representation, and if taken to its extreme it leads to dictatorship.
The Waitakeres are a beautiful treasure for all to enjoy. I respect the private property rights of those who live within the ranges and the continued amenities that are available to all New Zealand. My commitment to healthy communities has led to my call for a return to the policy (we had it for over 40 years from 1940 to about 1982) for low interest long term housing loans for first home buyers. I have also been a long time campaigner for sensible alternations to the financial system to allow a more relaxed lifestyle for most people and more economic security - all of which is easily possible with modern technology.
Over the last 18 years of Waitakere city we have worked very hard to protect our environment in both the urban and the rural parts of our city.
In our urban areas we have undertaken huge urban renewal projects in New Lynn, Henderson and in smaller centres like Glen Eden and Te Atatu. These projects will continue and our community development projects in Massey and Ranui will still need to be propmoted and supported.
I turned the first sod of the Maclaren Park community facility this morning and I will cetainly be pushing for the continued growth of community facilities in our urban communities. We still have much to do to ensure that the work that the community has started in these communities is continued. I championed the building of the youth centre in Henderson and believe our youth must be included in the planning for the new city, we need to keep up the investment in sports facilities and in performace venues. The hockey turf being built at Henderson high is a good example of a council/ school partnership that can work well and I will be is
We have worked to get upgraded public transport in Waitakere and the need to continue the upgrading of rail and bus services in the west is a real focus for me.
Project Twin streams is an urban stream restoration project and awesome commmunity development project and one I have had the privilage to oversee for about 10 years. I will be ensuring that this project goes region wide.
Ongoing investment in our businsss centres is vital and the next stage of the Wesgate development which will deliver 10 000 jobs to the west is a key focus for me as well.
There is a lot to do in our community of the west; protecting our wild places like our beaches and Ranges is vital but also supporting our town centres and our communities around them needs to continue. Our rural and urban boards will need to collaborate to ensure that all the comunities get their fair share of investment and that the great work that Waitakere city council has done across the city continues.
These are just some brief ideas...........call me if you need to discuss this any further.
Quality of urban life is one of the key overall issues for the region, and achieving it depends on a number of different policy areas including the following:
Economic development - adequate land for business, opportunities to work locally, reduced red tape & compliance costs. (I have covered this in more detail under the key 5 issues on the elections2010 website.)
Efficient infrastructure, including increased momentum to improvements in the transport system to reduce commuting times and get freight moving.
Urban environment and amenity - our urban areas must be safe and attactive places which are good to be in.
A good network of parks and open spaces for people to relax and recreate in.
Waitakere getting its fair share of resources in order to achieve all of these, and that the local boards are given the support and status they need to carry out their part of it.
A coordinated approach by the new council to ensure that one arm doesn\'t undermine what the other is doing in doing all this, and that it is done as effciently as possible and at a rate we can all afford. These aspecta are also covered in more deatil on my page of the elections2010 website)
Happy to discuss any aspects further on 817 8163.