Watercare project in Warkworth is worrying local businesses

15 June. (Photo courtesy of Mahurangi Matters). This month I invited Mayor Wayne Brown to visit Warkworth to view first-hand the roading and water infrastructure challenges our area is facing.

Over $249 million has already been spent in Warkworth and Snells Beach to build the required fresh water and sewage infrastructure ahead of housing growth.

Accordingly, the Mayor was keen to meet with retailers on Queen and Elizabeth Streets to hear their concerns regarding the disruption the Watercare proposal to install required sewage pipes along these streets will cause.

Their message was clear. They feel too much is at stake including the loss of jobs and livelihoods by digging along these street routes. There is also the disruption to the wider community if these roads are partially closed for a year, or longer.

The Mayor agreed to support the community and is challenging Watercare to find an alternative route. This is good news. However, due to the way the Super City is setup the Mayor cannot directly instruct Watercare what to do, but he is trying to help the retailers.

However, what Mayor Wayne Brown can control is the Council 10 Year Budget, which sets the future direction for Auckland.

Last month this budget was successfully voted through and it included a number of major wins for Rodney residents and ratepayers.

For example, there has been a massive win for rural ratepayers. Approved in the budget was $124.6 million for the long overdue fixes for unsealed roads, including sealing.  

As well as this, additional money has been allocated by Auckland Transport to improve the ongoing maintenance service levels. Instead of just the one grading crew to cover the entire Rodney area, there will now be five grading crews.

This means we should soon start to see a dramatic boost to the quality and safety of our unsealed roads all the way from 𝐊𝐮𝐦𝐞𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐓𝐞 𝐇𝐚𝐧𝐚, and all the roads in between.

Remember to 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐥𝐨𝐠 𝐚 𝐣𝐨𝐛 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭 with Auckland Transport if there is an urgent repair required on your unsealed or sealed road.

Our local townships have also been pushing hard to have more of our rates spent back locally.

So in addition to the increase in the spending of rates back into improving local roading, the Rodney Local Board has received a massive funding increase of $48.5 million for the next three years to further support important community programs. This is a win for our local communities and volunteers across 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐢𝐧 𝐑𝐨𝐝𝐧𝐞𝐲. 

Plus on top of that, an additional increase of $102.7 million for building new, and restoring old, Council facilities such as toilets and community halls.

No other Local Board across Auckland received such a dramatic increase in funding.

Concerned about the cost-of-living crisis I was the only Councillor to vote against increasing the fees Auckland Council can charge, including those for dairy farm inspections.