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

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