Time to get involved

By: Janet Fitzgerald

Well, we’re already almost through February, where does the time go? People have been out enjoying the fantastic area we are so lucky to live in. With the beautiful weather over the last couple of months, beaches have been packed, businesses seem to be doing a good trade and families are getting out and enjoying the many things happening in the Auckland region. 

A local highlight was the annual Rodders Beach Festival, which was well attended and those cars had many of us thinking of days gone by. I took relatives visiting from Australia and they are keen to come again next year. Well done to the organisers! It’s great to have local events so we don’t have to travel far, and we are putting money back in to our local economy. So, get out there everyone and enjoy the rest of summer while you can but remember to slip, slop, slap and keep out of the sun when it’s at its hottest. Unfortunately, the problems of skin cancer don’t show up till later in life for most of us, so it is very important to take the advice we are given and protect ourselves.

Auckland Council is now back into gear after the summer break and with many things happening, this is your opportunity to have your say. Consultation on our Annual Budget is open until March 17. It’s your chance to have a say on our proposed financial priorities for the coming year – as set out in year two of our 10-year Budget 2018-2028. You will also be able to give feedback on a discussion document about how we manage water in our region. As Auckland continues to grow and change, we need to look after the waters that sustain us.

Your feedback will help shape the issues that we need to focus on. You can give feedback online at aucklandcouncil.govt.nz, by post, or in person at events being held in local areas. Visit the Auckland Council website before March 17 to find out more and tell us what you think.

The Dog Management Bylaw will be considered by the council’s Governing Body before a draft goes out for public consultation. Here again, it’s important that you have your say.

Your voice is vital – you may have a very important point that others have never considered. There is nothing more important than hearing from those who are most affected. At the end of the day, it’s about balancing all opinions to come out with the best result.

Local body elections are later on this year. Have you thought of standing? Are you interested in the community and think you can add something to our beautiful area by being involved in the decision making? If so, it would be good for you to attend a local board or Governing Body meeting to see how the business happens. Ask questions of those of us that are already on the local board. There will be a handbook for people wanting to stand, which will have a lot of detail to help you understand the role and more about what’s expected of you. There are many meetings held during the day that further your understanding and inform your decision-making.

Engaging with the community means sometimes you are attending meetings on weekends as well as workshops and business meetings during the week. It is important that you read agendas and ask questions. Auckland Council is different to previous councils and local boards are different to community boards in other areas of New Zealand.

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