Looking back over the first five years of Auckland Council, Franklin Local Board Chair Andy Baker says it's been an exciting and challenging time.
“Whilst there have been significant changes in how the council and communities interact, in general, I believe we have seen more positives than negatives for Franklin," says Mr Baker.
Over the past five years, the board's advocacy has produced some fantastic local wins:
- Better public transport – more trains to Pukekohe, including weekend trains and additional services at the ends of the day, community engagement on new bus services to Waiuku and in Pukekohe, the Pukekohe Town Centre upgrade, and the installation of a roundabout at the Kingseat/Glenbrook Road intersection to improve safety.
- Community involvement – implemented a programme to hand the management of a number of rural halls to the community and supported the refurbishment of the Clevedon District Centre.
- Protecting the natural environment – one of nine boards funding the Manukau Harbour Forum with the aim of improving and restoring Manukau Harbour.
- Building the rural economy – ongoing revitalisation of Pukekohe Town Centre, including the town square.
- Making it easier to get around - the board completed the Omana walkway and also installed the Pukekohe pedestrian rail overbridge for the V8s event in 2013.
“Understanding how the council operates and, in particular, the shared governance model, remains one of the greatest challenges. But effective and cohesive local boards have a real ability to maintain a strong 'local' element to local government."
“I'm proud of the way in which we, as a local board, have been able to engage with the various communities in this first five years. We've had achievements large and small, and been able to influence other decision makers in a number of areas.”