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Long-term Plan: South Aucklanders Share What’s Important

The establishment of an Auckland Future fund, targeted rates and the disapproval of leasing airport shares were some proposals south Aucklanders felt strongly about in the council's Long-term Plan (LTP).

The month-long public submissions on Auckland Council's LTP came to an end in March, where Aucklanders were asked to have their say on options and trade-offs of activities and services delivery for Auckland over the next decade.

More than 22,000 individuals in the region provided feedback, with 2200 of those living in the south Auckland wards.

Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chairperson Apulu Reece Autagavaia praised those that took the time to be a part of the process for Auckland's future.

"However, overall, across the city our area had less feedback compared to census data," Autagavaia said.

"We know our people are often busy trying to make ends meet, pay bills, keep a roof over heads etc, that giving feedback to a council consultation is not a primary focus."

The LTP set out a central proposal that spanned a wide range of hot topics, from transport, drinking water and storm water, to parks and community, city and local development, environmental management and economic development.

The consultation document also presented alternative options to ‘pay more, get more’ or to ‘pay less, get less’ than the central proposal.

According to council's summary of the LTP consultation, feedback was received from 22,079 individuals, 391 organisations, 14 mana whenua and nine other Māori organisations and 5485 pro-forma responses.

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For south Aucklanders in the Māngere-Otahuhu, Manurewa, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Franklin and Papakura local wards, there was strong support for the establishment of the Auckland Future Fund, but against the leasing of Auckland Ports.

Transport, parks and community, funding of council services through port profit, and rates for natural environment, water quality, climate action transport and refuse collection also received strong support.

There was less support for proposals on water, city and local development, economic and cultural environment, council support and recycling charges for schools.

Autagavaia said for his ward, rate increases would impact households more than others, due to limited discretionary income to absorb rates increases and rise in cost of living.

"However, when the feedback data is further detailed, our community clearly ask for more and better council services and facilities.

"Many of our communities depend on council services and any cuts could be detrimental to our community."

He was especially encouraged by youth groups in his ward who went out and gathered hundreds of public submissions from their peers.

"I believe it was the Ōtara Youth Hub who was contracted to do so at PolyFest," Autagavaia said.

"This is reflected in more representative feedback according to age demographics, compared to previous feedback."

Residents in the Franklin ward strongly backed the targeted rate of $52 a year, to help pay for pathways and trails in the district.

The proposed paths would mainly be in urban areas and connect with existing paths as well as the wider public transport network.

The Franklin, Papakura, and Manurewa local boards reserved their comments about the LTP submissions, until after a business meeting later this month.

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