OurAuckland has a chat to Rachael, a member of Auckland Council's People's Panel, about shaping her city:
How long have you been a member of the People’s Panel?
It’s probably been at least five or six years ... maybe seven years.
Why did you decide to join the People's Panel?
I get information about what Auckland Council is looking at and it updates me about what’s happening in the city and community. It also gives me the opportunity to express my views and opinions about activities and topics that I feel personally interested in.
How many surveys have you done?
I don’t do all of them; I probably do about 80 per cent of them because there are a few things that I’m not too bothered about, so I feel that those with stronger views should express their opinions where I’m a little bit more ambivalent.
What was the most interesting one you did last year?
I’m always really fascinated and actually really impressed by the amount of activity that’s happening in my area. Generally, I’m interested in all surveys, but the sports and recreation ones always get my interest.
Have you seen any results that you felt have come from your input?
Things like community reserves that I see in my area when I go out for a run; I often see billboards that show this was a community activity and it was funded by the local community or the council and I’m really impressed by that. Also, the events in Auckland! I’m a big fan of events and having things that make our city vibrant and exciting and interesting.
Why do you think people should sign up to the People's Panel?
If they want a vibrant city that they enjoy living in! It’s an opportunity to have a voice to influence what is happening and be aware of what is happening in the wider city and community.
I guess having lived in London for eight years I know the importance of what can be done to make a community great, and the influence that people can have on council activity and council expenditure. So it’s definitely worth having a voice so that you can get things that are of interest to you, your friends and family your workmates. And really just making the city a better place to live.