Cleaning up before the council
It’s not often that an elected local board member is seen cleaning out storm water drains of the neighbourhood public park.
But tired of getting what he describes as no progress from Auckland Council contractors, Howick Local Board member Jim Donald recently visited his local Macleans Reserve, in Bucklands Beach, to do just that, with spade in hand.
Donald says he was dissatisfied at the council’s ‘‘slowness’’ in responding to calls and decided to do something about it.
‘‘Myself and another person went out and cleaned eight culverts,’’ he says.
‘‘All the rain has washed the soil and stones into the culverts and blocked them up.’’
Donald says that after last July’s heavy storms a lot of damage was done to the reserve’s drainage system and public pathway, but only some of the repair job was done.
‘‘Downers did half a job of fixing up the path, then their contract was terminated, so they did no more and Ventia has taken over [from July 1, 2017].
‘‘We have been trying to get the pathway fixed and we’re still waiting,’’ Donald says.
The council’s head of operational management and maintenance, Agnes McCormack, says it has investigated the drainage at Macleans Reserve.
‘‘Council staff have visited the site with Howick Local Board members and are working on a plan to have the site cleaned up to a standard which meets the community’s expectations.’’
Donald and fellow board members Garry Boles and Mike Turinsky are keen to encourage community members who appreciate their local parks.
‘‘There’s something really important when it comes to community passion and when people express passion and willingness to muck in,’’ Turinsky says.
‘‘It’s something that I think is important that we honour people’s passion to jump in.’’
Donald agrees, saying: ‘‘I’m keen on preserving the passion and enthusiasm of our communities by doing something rather than talking about it.
‘‘We are going to establish a Friends of Macleans Park. I’m encouraging people to be part of this Friends of Macleans group,’’ he says.
Residents are invited to meet at the flying fox on MacLeans Reserve to do ‘‘a little park maintenance’’ from 1pm on Sunday, March 25, Donald says.
Howick Local Board member Jim Donald on the job clearing out blocked culverts and drains at Macleans Reserve.SUPPLIED