Letter to Manukau: Len Brown Returns
Friday, 19 September - Issue 40
In this update:
Len Brown Returns | Recycling Facility | Landslip and Rock Failure |
Len Brown returns
As many of you will have heard by now Len will be returning to work on Monday. His doctors have given him the all-clear so he'll be striding up the steps of the Civic Centre on Monday on his way to his new office - which used to be the Chief Executive's office. There's been something of a rearrangement of offices over recent months as part of the refurbishments of the Civic Centre. So Len will have to get used to a slightly different landscape.
Nonetheless, Monday will be a great day for everyone at the council. I have to admit that there were times in the aftermath of Len's heart attack when I wondered whether he would make it back. For a period in June his condition was especially serious, but he has made a remarkable recovery.
But we shouldn't expect him to be firing on all cylinders and taking on a full mayoral schedule from day one. We'll help Len manage his timetable and workload in the interim until he's back on board fulltime.
The last few months have been something of a baptism of fire for me as acting mayor. Twelve months ago I wasn't even a councillor - I was the chairman of the Papatoetoe Community Board. Since then I have been elected as a councillor, was made chairman of the Grants and Events Committee at council, then elected as deputy mayor and finally stepped up as acting mayor. I have tried to serve the city and its people to the best of my ability in all these roles. And I have had superb support from councillors - notably Cr Anae who stood in as acting mayor while I was away - and council staff as well as many of the residents of our city. My sincere thanks to them all. And especially I thank my fantastic wife Dianne for her support.
On Monday I attended the official opening of the Visy Recycling MRF facility in Onehunga. This is the state-of-the-art plant where the contents of your new green wheelie recycling bins are sorted. The process is truly amazing. First the recyclables are tipped onto a conveyer and are pre-sorted to remove contamination and large items. Then a cylindrical sieve and screens separate the paper out and a magnet attracts the steel. An eddy current device sorts out the aluminium and an optical sorting machine separates and grades the plastics. Truly remarkable.
I'm delighted to see that recycling volumes in Manukau have increased by 27 per cent since our new service was introduced. It's also encouraging to see that most residents are putting the right items in their bins. We can all be proud of these achievements. And our streets are cleaner on collection day because we have lids on our bins - meaning rubbish doesn't get blown around. It's win-win all round.
Landslip and Rock Failure
As many of you will have seen in the news, it's clean up time at the landslip near Kawakawa Bay. A sucker truck is being used to take up the slurry that came down the hill following the water drop by helicopter with a monsoon bucket.
Progress is being made and geotechnical experts are keeping a close watch on the hill for any further movement. I've been told a single lane could be open by the end of September, which is great news.
I'm also pleased that Enterprising Manukau has been working with businesses in the area which have been affected or disrupted because of the landslip. These are trying times for many residents and we are doing our best to help them through.
I thank council staff for all their efforts both in this matter and concerning the rock failure at Bucklands Beach.
Acting Mayor of Manukau