Hard work really paid off with 227 individual oppositions received from Howick Market-goers. The need to keep our green spaces really resonated with the public, with some repeated themes coming through:
- All green spaces are important to people for various reasons, but those with children especially, who really worry about keeping the safety provided by pocket green spaces which are close to houses.
- The intensification of Auckland housing means that current green spaces are not enough, let alone losing more of them.
- While most generally understand the need for short term changes to generate funding – emotions ran high about Council’s current avenues of expenditure – with many voicing dissatisfaction over the number of high paid public servants across Council and Panuku, overly bureaucratic processes draining Council resources, and Council failing to address cost drains and opportunities such as floating the troubled Ports Of Auckland
- There was also a theme of general opposition and concern over the Council not having listened to the community and our Howick Local Board representatives. Many were appalled when they heard that only 4 of the 14 proposed reserves in this round of review had received opposition from Councillors, yet Council and the Mayor overruled them regardless. This was of serious concern to those who aren’t necessarily affected or near a reserve, but significantly affects the Council’s credibility and decision-making processes.
Thanks to those who went to the market this morning, for raising public awareness of the situation, and for gathering so much written support. With only 10 more days until submissions close, we need to keep spreading the word, and helping people put pen to paper before it’s too late.