Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chair Fa'anānā Efeso Collins says over the last five years the board has found new ways to make sure Auckland's democratic structure works better for its locals.
“Our board has really found a strong voice over the last five years."
"We’ve been persistent with our advocacy at all levels, and with all council organisations, to make sure local interests are supported and protected,” says Mr Collins.
“There have been some wonderful gains in transport, infrastructure, and community facilities. We’ve also been strong advocates for measures that help tackle the serious social issues affecting our communities.”
- Better public transport – Successful advocacy for the Manukau train station, the Ōtara bus terminal and the new Manukau bus interchange to start construction in 2016 after public consultation. The new boulevard on Davies Ave is doing a great job connecting the Manukau train station and Hayman Park to Manukau centre.
- More active communities – The board has focussed on improving the quality and number of sports parks in the area. As well as facilitating Spark's 'The Jungle' basketball court in Ōtara, there are now five new fields and a training area at Te Puke O Tara Park and the board is investing in upgrading other sports fields to higher quality sand carpet surfaces so they manage better in bad weather. New facilities are being built at James Watson Park and the board has ensured everyone can use the Ōtara and Papatoetoe swimming pools free of charge, through targeted rate funding. It is also currently constructing the Colin Dale Motorsport Park access, parking and waste water systems. These open the way for sports clubs to develop facilities for karting, off-road racing, motocross, BMX, jet sprint and radio-controlled car races.
- Vibrant, safer town centres – Better lighting, seating, landscaping, wider pathways around local town centres including a a new glazed glass canopy at Ōtara Mall. Improvement projects will be starting shortly around the Papatoetoe Town Centre and a new civic space is confirmed for Hunters Corner.
- Celebrating arts and local talent – Fresh Gallery, the Otara Music and Arts Centre and the Ōtara Cube are all facilities supported by the local board with a constant array of shows and exhibitions from locals and up and coming artists. Two community skill sheds are being funded to engage locals who can take time out to work on projects that benefit the community.
- Treasuring our environment – Funding and facilitating a wide group of community stakeholders to work toward the rejuvenation of the Otara Lake and its waterways. The board is focussed on a serious joint effort by all our neighbouring local boards toward revitalisation of the Manukau Harbour via Manukau Harbour Forum. It also continues to sponsor events and initiatives that raise awareness about the health and recreational value of the Puhinui stream.
For more information visit the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board website.