Ten years with the Auckland Supercity model and what has Wellsford got to show for it? Not much. This is despite the hard-working efforts of the residents of Wellsford continually struggling and pleading to get projects started.
As I have acknowledged before, we have achieved the following …
• A skate park
• A library. This was championed by Mayor Penny Webster, of the Rodney District Council, circa 2009.
Meanwhile, Wellsford has the following issues …
• An urgent upgrade required for Centennial Park.
• A badly needed footpath along SH1. This is part of the Greenways programme that is still in the planning stage after 10 years.
• Wellsford’s public toilets, built in 1938. They are still being used, however we are assured that a rebuild will happen sometime.
• Wellsford’s water supply is in jeopardy with a proposed mega rubbish dump sitting above it.
• The sewerage system and water pipes have had multiple blow outs with no replacement in sight, even with the increase of 3.5 per cent in the rates.
Is it surprising that Wellsford is in this predicament? Probably not, when one of the Rodney First members once stated: “Who cares, no one lives there anyway.” To add insult to injury, Rodney First have stolen the tarseal targeted rate. They redirected this money towards …
• Bus services, which Auckland Transport told the Local Board were not sustainable.
• 131 new car parks for the Warkworth Showgrounds.
• Two new toilets.
• A luxury footpath through the bush.
I am very concerned that the Rodney First members have repeatedly undermined our well-respected councillor. This same councillor who was unchallenged in the election, unlike Phelan Pirrie and Beth Houlbrooke.
On the flip side, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Auckland Transport in sealing Wellsford Valley Road. This is the first road west of Wellsford to be completely sealed in 160 years. Well done.
I would also like to acknowledge the unsealed roading team of Auckland Transport. They are given a miserable budget that hardly covers maintenance. Despite this, they have managed to upgrade their level of service.
Auckland Council has a population-based model that will never work for rural areas and towns like Wellsford and Helensville. Centralisation of our rates has never worked for anyone. Rural communities are being flogged for rates, and yet see nothing while their bank accounts are being cleaned out. What benefit has the rural community seen from Auckland Council since its inception?
Colin Smith, Rodney Local Board