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Letter To Manukau - Friday, 27 December 2009

Contact me: lettertomanukau@manukau.govt.nz

Letter To Manukau - Friday, 27 December 2009

Music and performance has featured largely on my calendar in recent weeks. After attending the 50th birthday celebrations of the Spotlight Theatre of Manukau Performing Arts, I was part of the 50th birthday celebration performance of Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow at Harlequin's theatre for the Howick Opera Society. It was a great occasion. The show was a potpourri of popular selections the Society has featured over the last half century. It's a great little theatre. Well done to Sue Rossitter and the team.

I also went along to an annual performance which featured schools supported by the Tironui Music Trust. These were Puhinui, Papatoetoe North, Papatoetoe West Primary schools and Kedgely and Papatoetoe Intermediate schools. The Trust has supported schools whose students are learning traditional musical instruments including clarinet, the violin, viola, flute, and trombone. Some 200 kids performed on a great day hosted by Puhinui School. There were plenty of mums and dads there which was brilliant to see.

Town planning
We are doing something which is potentially groundbreaking in terms of town planning with the Mangere town centre. Over many years we have carried out significant consultation and redesign projects with Old Papatoetoe, Mangere and Manurewa townships.

We are going through a significant change with Papatoetoe at the moment, following through a plan for reinvestment in the commercial sector as well as an opportunity for some intensive low level apartment development as a way of moving Old Papatoetoe forward commercially.

We are intending something similar at Mangere town centre and have recently carried out informal consultation on the draft Mangere Town Plan. One of the key changes proposed is a simplification of the planning process, which can be very long and protracted. The aim is to do all the consultation on proposals for the area upfront, so residents and developers can be certain about what type of development is allowed in Mangere. We want to see these changes in place before the Auckland Council is inaugurated in November next year.

This plan change would primarily allow more intensive development in and around the Mangere town centre, improving street connections and public transport networks. It would also provide an opportunity for commercial investment beyond where the town centre is at the moment. The process, led by our director Ree Anderson, has been well worked through by our political wing and we are due to go through public hearings for submissions next month.

The alternate route for district scheme plan changes is probably best encapsulated by the Whitford plan changes. It has been a 15-year process but we are now finalising it. I attended the Whitford Residents and Ratepayers AGM last week to confirm that we have at last arrived at the end of the process. We still have the Whitford village plan change to go through but hopefully that will be finalised through by next year in time for the new Auckland council.

The Economy
I am heartened with the amount of vigour I'm seeing within our business community. I attended the 10th anniversary of Tang Ming last weekend. This is an East Tamaki based company owned by Nancy Dong and Peter Chen.

This company has significant links into China. Its core business in New Zealand focuses primarily on residential subdivision development and bathroom and kitchen amenities and facilities. Nancy and Peter have good reason to be pleased with Tang Ming's progress over the past ten years. They are at the coalface of the development of a strong business relationship between Manukau and some key businesses, cities and provinces in China.

Enjoy your week.

Len Brown
Mayor of Manukau


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