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Mayors speak out on growth pains and gains


Mayors speak out on growth pains and gains

At the invitation of Papakura District Mayor John Robertson, North Shore City Mayor George Wood visited Papakura today (Friday, September 2) to talk over matters of common interest while touring the district.

The mayors say their councils face common challenges arising from population growth.

During the visit, the mayors focused on three key issues: transport; business and residential land; and policing.

Mr Robertson took his mayoral colleague around the high-growth areas throughout the district.

" Transit needs to advance southern motorway upgrades in our district - three interchanges and three-laning between Hill Road and Drury, " he says.

" The Papakura interchange does not even appear in Transit New Zealand ' s ten-year plan. This interchange is not coping now and will be totally inadequate when the Hingaia development begins. These projects need to be fast-tracked. "

George Wood says both authorities share an interest in upgrading public transport - locally and regionally.

" North Shore City continues to invest heavily in ferry and bus-related infrastructure while Papakura has rail, " he says.

" On behalf of our respective communities, we ' re keen to see fair regional investment in improving both public transport and roading networks. "

The mayors agree that planning for sustainable economic development is the key to building prosperous communities.

George Wood says North Shore City is a regional player, totally committed to promoting economic development down to the Bombays - and beyond.

" We ' ve been impressed by the progress in Papakura District and the creation of high quality jobs for the growing community, " he says. " This is a great credit to John and his council. "

John Robertson says both areas offer exciting opportunities to build and grow businesses.

" The difference is that North Shore is running out of business-zoned land, while Papakura has land available.

" Papakura is becoming increasingly attractive to developers as existing residential and industrial precincts throughout the Auckland region face land shortages, " says the former MP and Infrastructure Auckland chairman.

Mr Wood, North Shore ' s police commander before he became mayor in 1998, says the region needs to see an increase in police numbers if they are to do their job efficiently and allay the concerns of the community.

" Police resourcing has not kept pace with the increasing population, " he says.

" This has led to huge pressure on police to provide good quality services across the board."

Mr Robertson says George Wood has campaigned for years for more police in Auckland.

" As a former officer, he knows first hand the stress that the police service is under. We have agreed to campaign jointly for more police in our local communities.

" Community policing is important, so that the police get to know our neighbourhoods well. Back-up resources are then critical to respond to crime, " he says.

ENDS

John Robertson Mayor

Papakura District Council


George Wood Mayor

North Shore City Council

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