Make Sure the Bay’s Voice is Heard on Auckland Council

I was rather disturbed by the undemocratic nature of ACT’s Rodney Hide actions in establishing the Auckland Council, without consulting the people of Auckland. You can argue that there was a commission of enquiry about Auckland’s governance, but their recommendations were not followed.
Anyway it was a fait accompli, and before you knew it, Rodney had done the job.
But the result for the East Coast Bays has been abysmal. There is no one on the Auckland Council representing the people of the Bays. Your standard of living is in danger. It’s notable that one of the first things these guys did was increase the rates by 4.9% and gave themselves a pay rise of up to 50%. Nothing has changed.
East Coast Bays is in the Albany ward and has two ward councillors, Michael Goudie and Wayne Walker, both from Whangaparaoa. I have to say that the new politicians on the various boards know the danger and are out there meeting the people in a way that the old North Shore City Council never did.  Michael Goudie was Twitvited to the opening of Albany Optometrists and is making sure he meets locals on the old North Shore. He is very active on his Facebook site and you can see he is fully engaged with reporting back to his electorate. But how does this affect East Coast Bays?
Supposedly the Hibiscus and Bays board will represent your interests. That means there are three layers between you, as a resident of East Coast Bays, and the decision makers in Queen Street. How are the residents of East Coast Bays going to make their voice heard?
Recently, local board chair Julia Parfitt stated to me that it is notable that the standard of services that we have in the Bays is much higher than that in Hibiscus. It is up to the residents of the Bays to protect their interests. How can we do that when we have no representation on council? There is a battle brewing and it’s over the rates you pay and where that money is spent. Is it right that the rates collected in the Bays is used to build stormwater drains and roads in Hibiscus Coast? It is up to you.
If you want your voice heard and your money spent where you want it to be spent you will have to take action. Right now there are few ways for you to make your voice heard at the top. You have had many of your rights taken away recently, and you need to make sure your voice is heard.
Here’s three ways:
1 Join your local Resident and Ratepayers Association. The local board members attend these meetings and it is your opportunity to speak at least indirectly to Auckland Council. Here’s Campbells Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association’s website.
And a list of resident and ratepayers associations on the old North Shore Council’s website.
2 Mayor Len Brown has established The Auckland Council People’s Panel for Aucklanders who want to have a say on issues and be a sounding board for future plans, policies, innovative new services and service improvements.
Shelley Watson, Manager Communications and Public Affairs says the People’s Panel gives Aucklanders an opportunity to provide feedback on the things that are important to them.
“We want to know what Aucklanders think about our services, policies and plans, and to hear new ideas about how Auckland can become the world’s most liveable city.”
Joining the People’s Panel is easy. Simply log on to the People’s Panel, complete your details and Auckland Council will invite you to complete your first survey or feedback form.
Participants will be asked to provide feedback on at least three topics a year via a monthly email. In return, Auckland Council will share the results and feedback so that residents can see how their views are impacting and shaping council policies, plans and services.
The scary part is that Auckland City and Rodney are fully represented on the People’s Panel. There is little representation from the Bays, so join it and make sure they know what you think.
3. Let Wellington know how you feel. It is no coincidence that Wayne Mapp has decided to quit politics. Why would one of National’s best and most experienced politicians quit now? Because he knows that National is going to come under immense pressure in Auckland for backing ACT’s plans for Auckland just to get power. Make sure Rodney doesn’t get back in and make sure you tell John Key not to take the North Shore electorate  for granted.

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