What issues will shape our future?
It has been a hectic few years in Auckland. The creation of the super-city and the writing of the Unitary Plan has asked Aucklanders to really think about the future of the city. On the eve of the second super-city election – voting papers will start arri
ELDERLY Anne-Marie Coury, Auckland Grey Power president
Auckland Greypower is encouraging members to vote with antennae flapping recognising that having people elected who are focused on improving the wellbeing of communities is crucial for their safety and connectedness in their older years. We need to elect people who appreciate why accessible, reliable and affordable public transport is the key to improving Auckland’s road congestion problems.
We need people who will ensure services like social housing and aftercare recovery from operations are available to seniors in need.
Most of all we need people who respect seniors’ contribution to building this city, by ensuring rate demands are more affordable for single seniors living only on New Zealand Super, and eat less than 20 per cent of their income. MIGRANTS Agnes Granada, Migrant Action Trust manager
The problem is really the same as it has always been. We have so many unemployed and underemployed migrants.
Despite the unemployment rate being high we continue to get migrants arriving.
From our perspective local government could be working with community groups to create social enterprises. For example if I was a Pacific Island community group I could set up a security guard company, I would be able to take the time to train in a way that was understood by Pacific migrants, and the profits could go back to create more social enterprises.
This would also help reduce the trust’s reliance on local government funding for programmes.
English courses also need to be looked at. I think they are not very well tailored to what people know and don’t know. They are going, but their English is not improving. COMMUNITY SAFETY Avon Lines, Auckland Neighbourhood Support chairwoman
We need to get people connected and keeping an eye on each other.
People need to start communicating. They aren’t reporting things they see and they aren’t telling each other what is going on. People don’t know what is happening in their neighbourhoods.
Local government needs to continue to build links within communities to improve safety. ENVIRONMENT Kit Howden, Maungawhau
The big issue not being addressed is the provision of green space (parks) in a growing city.
The main questions to ask is: Will you support the guideline that was once proposed but seems removed from the draft Open Space Strategy that it’s a right of every citizen to be able to walk/access a green public park within at least say 10 minutes of where they live?
At present there is a decline in park space as Auckland becomes more intensely built.
Will there be enough park space for the future population?
Why is the Open Space Strategy taking such a low priority? SPORT Cathy Trudeau, Central City Baseball president
We would like to see the council continue to look at providing better facilities for sports clubs, not necessarily creating new parks but fixing up the ones we’ve got to allow for sports like baseball to keep growing.
Central City Baseball hasn’t even started the season yet and after just one registration day we have more people signed up than during the season last year. We need space for them to play.
Increasing security measures to combat vandalism so we have safe, secure areas to play in. HEALTH Paula Taylor, Mental Health Foundation
Putting wellbeing at the centre of planning is crucial to achieving the vision of ‘the world’s most liveable city’, a city which will allow all its people – as communities and as individuals – to flourish.
For this to happen, councils and boards need to develop policies and strategies that promote mental health and promote community engagement, and they need to ensure that wellbeing outcomes are measured. EDUCATION Jill Corkin, Auckland Primary Principals Association
Auckland Primary Principals would like candidates to consider how council policies can support local schools as hubs within their communities – whether it be with careful planning of transport routes, easing congestion around schools, funding for initiatives that enhance learning for students or simply liaising with the Ministry of Education over roll growth and planning for new schools.
Schools already work in council initiatives such as TravelWise, EnviroSchools and Trees for Survival to increase awareness of these issues. Perhaps there are creative ways council-owned facilities can also be used to support schools and provide resources that they struggle to afford and maintain. TRANSPORT Matt Lowrie, Congestion Free Network
Aucklanders want the city’s transport system fixed, making it easier to get around. Overwhelmingly they have called for better public transport, like exists in other major cities around the world. The good news is that it is possible. Many politicians campaign on a promise to improve public transport yet despite this 70 per cent of transport spending planned is to go on new and wider roads. No city in the world has built their way out of congestion with more roads.
If politicians are serious about improving public transport then transport priorities need to change. One suggestion for this is at congestionfree.co.nz. DISABILITY ACCESS Minnie Baragwanath, B.Accessible chief executive
Auckland, the most liveable city in the world has the opportunity to also be the most accessible city in the world.
Today, more than 800,000 Aucklanders (20 per cent) would benefit from improved access to many aspects of their city and communities ranging from local events and public parks through to employment, information and economic prosperity.
Further, the entire city would also benefit from a growing number of domestic and international tourists with access needs if our civic and business leaders made it a priority to ensure that our businesses and our tourist facilities were designed in a way that ensured all people, whether someone with low vision, someone with trouble hearing, an older couple using a motorised scooter or parents with push chairs, could get in, get around and have a wonderful experience.
Imagine Waiheke Island as the destination of choice for access tourists. Imagine all visitors on cruise ships being able to experience all that Auckland has to offer. Imagine knowing that Auckland truly is the most liveable and accessible city for its residents.
Minnie Baragwanath: Leaders should focus on ensuring all people can get around.