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Letter to Manukau

Letter to Manukau

Friday 07 March 2008 Issue 12
In this update

• Community Events
• Future leaders
• Public Transport

One of the most fun parts of being mayor is attending the large number of local events in the city.

In this regard, I was supposed to attend the Howick in the Park Military Tattoo on Saturday, but the weather gods conspired to bless the city with rain and the event had to be cancelled. I know Cr Sharon Stewart and the tattoo organisation put a huge amount of work into this event but, unfortunately, it was impossible to have a reserve day.

However, my point is that events such as that planned for Howick are an integral part of bringing our communities together. Over the years this council has often used the catch phrase “celebrating diversity” to demonstrate the value that Manukau obtains from its diverse population. These events are the epitome of what that means.

In the case of Howick in the Park, this event brings together connections with our British communities in New Zealand as well as having a strong Chinese influence. This, together with a large playground and side show area, means that, in the past, Howick in the Park has attracted many different ethnic families and is a particular attraction for children. I am hugely supportive of this type of event and love attending them with my family. These celebrations are an important part of the glue that sticks us together.


Getting future leaders involved today

I had a fabulous meeting with the Pakuranga Rotoract last week. About 100 residents, mostly year 12 and 13 students from local high schools, attended the meeting organised by Rotoract President Jimmy Wong. It turned out to be a brilliant evening.

I began by reminding the young people that the city we are building today is the place they will inherit as adults and parents in 10 years’ time. For that reason, I encouraged them to become involved in the process of ensuring that Manukau is something they will be proud to inherit and that it is developing in a way that is reflective of their needs and aspirations.

The discussion that ensued for some two hours was amazing. Some of the best questions and most perceptive observations on the past and future of this city were reflected back to me by these young people. I came out of that meeting assured that the future of our city is going to be in very fine hands.


Public transport

One of the more important discussions we are having through our annual plan process is how we develop our transport network. It is a vital issue for the future of this city.

Under the leadership of Sir Barry Curtis our city pushed regional and national leaders for a rail connection between the main trunk line and Manukau city centre. The Government agreed last year to fund and deliver the majority of what will be a $70million project. The council is working with the Government and we are now close to finalising the location of the last part of the rail link and the rail station.

The link will be the most significant transport project in our city for many years and I am very keen to ensure that it will be the beginning of a push for the implementation of a major public transport plan for our city.

Manukau can be proud that it has already developed, in a way that puts it ahead of most other local authorities, a comprehensive roading network. In the last year we will have spent close to $90million on building or maintaining roads; a similar amount is proposed for next year.

For the future of our city it is now essential that we, with our partners the Auckland Regional Council and the Government, give a similar commitment to building our rail, bus and ferry networks to match the effort we have already put into roads.

Len Brown
Mayor of Manukau


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