Simple, Practical Solutions To Getting Around Auckland
9th September 2019
Carmel Claridge, Better Auckland candidate for Maungakiekie Tāmaki in this year’s Auckland Council elections, says there are plenty of simple, practical solutions to facilitate easier and safer movement around the city, which needn’t cost Auckland ratepayers the earth.
Former lawyer and hands-on activist, Claridge says ‘We need tangible project delivery, viable alternatives to private vehicle use, and better infrastructure at all levels of scale to enable easy, safer, and quicker movement around our city. More pedestrian refuges in the middle of busy roads, more dedicated pedestrian crossings, better signage at junctions, signalisation where needed, and some improvements to the basic nuts and bolts. It’s not hard, it just needs focus taking account of local knowledge, and a will to see it happen.’
As transport lead on the Orakei local board, Claridge has already initiated some local improvements and will bring her expertise in working with Auckland Transport to help improve getting around Maungakiekie Tāmaki.
She notably put the old guard’s nose put of joint in her first week on the Orakei local board by slashing sausage rolls and other nibbles from the Local Board budget, saving rate payers around $36,000.
Claridge was also the only local board member to vote against subsidising private tree pruning. Now she plans to bring her back to basics approach to rate payers’ money into the heart of Auckland Council.
Claridge has teamed up with Eastern suburbs political veteran Mike Padfield and launched Better Auckland, a new ticket aimed at securing 10 per cent of the new Auckland Council votes and bringing practical action back to local politics. Claridge is standing for Maungakiekie Tāmaki, while Padfield takes aim at the Orakei seat that socialite Desley Simpson inherited from former PR man, Cameron Brewer.
Claridge points out: `Many of the current councillors are inflexible, change averse and out of touch with voters. Because they have served for many years there is some truth in the perception that they are lacking in fresh ideas. We need a better balance between innovation for housing, transport and conservation, while taking better care of what makes Tāmaki Makaurau special. Better Auckland will preserve and protect what is important - providing sound governance of our much loved city so that we can help make a Better Auckland for future generations.’
Carmel is Chair of environmental groups Friends of Pourewa Valley and Tāmaki Estuary Environment Forum. She is a recognised ‘hands on’ environmentalist and effective leader in ensuring better guardianship of our natural environment.
The Better Auckland candidates are not affiliated with any political party and are campaiging on a programme of policies for progress rather than political manoevering.
Better Auckland’s Key Priorities Are
1) Protect our parks and reserves from Council sales, and freedom camping
2) Protect our beaches from sewerage overflows - let’s stop the flooding on Tāmaki Drive
3) Protect our community from the effects of inappropriate housing developments
4) Protect and establish safe travel routes, including those for alternative transport modes, and preserve necessary parking around our community
5) Force Council to return more of our rates to our area