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Letter to Manukau

Letter to Manukau

From the Office of the Mayor of Manukau

Friday 11 July 2008 Issue 30
In this update

• Len Back Home
• Cook Islands Delegation
• Sister City Visit

Contact me


As many of you would know, Len has been discharged from Auckland Hospital and is now back home with his family. When I spoke to him earlier this week he was enjoying watching a DVD with his daughters. He has also been spending time soaking up the sunshine. After so many weeks indoors in hospital little things like being out in the fresh air are a real joy for him.

Shan and all the family are understandably delighted to have Len back home. His return coincides with the school holidays so he will be able to spend plenty of time catching up with his daughters and extended family.

It has been a real roller-coaster ride since Len’s heart attack on 31 May. Stabilisation, major surgery and good progress were followed by a serious setback in mid-June. But Len has pulled through thanks to great work by the medical staff at Auckland Hospital. I don’t mind admitting there were times when I was very concerned about Len. But he has bounced back remarkably and his future prospects look bright.

I don’t know when Len will be able to return to work. That depends on medical advice and his ongoing recovery. It would be great to have him back on deck and firing on all cylinders. But we will have to wait and see when that is.

I know lots of people will want to talk to Len soon as he has many friends in the community. But it is important he gets all the space and time he needs to recover fully.

Finally, I know Len and Shan are very grateful for all the wonderful messages of support and prayers from many people. On their behalf, I also offer my thanks.


Last week a parliamentary delegation from the Cook Islands visited Manukau city. Accompanied by councillors Hugh Graham, Alf Filipaina, Anne Candy and Arthur Anae, I was honoured to be able to welcome them to Manukau.

They were here to learn more about governance arrangements in our city. I understand they were impressed with how the council operates.

Manukau city enjoys a strong relationship with the Cook Islands. There are about 20,000 people of Cook Island Maori ethnicity living in our city. In 2000 a memorandum of co-operation was signed between the Manukau City Council and the Cook Islands government which led to educational initiatives. Manukau city has also played a major role in a trade delegation to the Cook Islands in 2005.

Long may this relationship continue.


Last week I was delighted to meet senior students from Utsunomiya High School in Japan who are in Manukau for about seven weeks. Manukau has a sister city relationship with Utsunomiya which started in 1982. They selected Manukau because we are a new city with a young population and a mix of urban, rural and industrial areas.

Since 1982 this relationship has led to exchange visits both ways by thousands of citizens for educational, business, sporting and social experiences. Sister city arrangements help foster understanding and co-operation across boundaries of language, religion and race.

The students from Utsunomiya are staying with host families in Manukau and will be attending local schools like Sancta Maria, Manurewa High School and Macleans College. Our visitors hope to improve their English and learn more about life in New Zealand.

I believe a reciprocal exchange programme from Manukau to Utsunomiya is being planned for December. I thoroughly endorse and support such exchanges.

Finally, I hope all of you with children are enjoying the school holidays.

Gary Troup
Acting Mayor of Manukau


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