No “official” growth. No official money, Kumeu!

7 September 2021. Kumeu Courier. The Auckland Council still isn’t working for the Norwest. Firstly around having its voice heard about the roading conditions, and secondly around getting a fair share of the rates and development contributions spent back in the area.

The increased centralisation created by the SuperCity has resulted in increased marginalisation for those communities not identified as “growth” centres, and therefore not considered worthy of investment by the Auckland Council.

Remarkably Hauapi is not identified as a growth centre by the Council. It sees this town as a central Government SHA, and which it is being forced by law to issue building consents for. Auckland Council does not care that traffic is increasing and road conditions are deteriorating. Council regards the SHA’s and SH16 as central Government problems to sort out.

The Council has promised a “Structure Plan” in 2028. That is Council blueprint to put in new infrastructure into the 800ha of “future urban zoned” land around Kumeu/Haupai – in order to accommodate another 25,000 people.

Imagine the impact on Kumeu/Huapai and the surrounding districts!

Many people are saying a review of the Supercity is needed. Most communities outside of the identified growth centres feel like they are a cash cow for Auckand’s growth.

The city’s politicians love to build the shiny things – they love to attend opening ceremonies of this and that, but they ever want to upgrade rural roads, or deal with the local traffic congestion.

Some roads have been made too narrow for farming vehicles in the rural area, and town centres are slowly being stripped of car parking bays.

Many people in the Rodney community tell me they have “honestly had a gutsful” of a one-size-fits-all approach.

The council-controlled organisations are not being judged as working well – for example Watercare’s handling of the regions’ drought.

There’s a general perception here in Rodney that the Council Controlled Organisations are actually “council out-of-control” organisations.

Some solutions include:

1. Gaining greater financial transparency for the public to see how much money flows back into the area,

2. Council getting back to core business,

3. Having binding public consultation as people believe these processes are currently no more than a box ticking procedure for the bureaucrats,

4. Introducing a mediation service by which ratepayers can challenge poor Council decisions instead of always having to go to court to do so, and

5. Give Local Board’s getter autonomy, equitable funding and greater local decision-making abilities, including the ability to hire local contractors to do local work.

All of these are possible without requiring a change in legislation to implement them. What is lacking is the political will by the majority of elected Councillors to do so.