The power of community was brought to the fore when huge numbers of volunteers launched into action in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle, Manukau Councillor Lotu Fuli says.
That demonstration of the force for good that communities can be when called on in times of crisis makes the proposed Annual Budget, open for consultation from noon on 28 February to 28 March, the most important for the city in some time, she says.
“Widespread cuts are proposed and while feedback from our Ōtara-Papatoetoe and Māngere-Ōtāhuhu communities is traditionally low, we have to motivate our people to be heard.
“It is hard to say how much sway watching communities respond to the adverse weather will have because until Cyclone Gabrielle the arguments were all about core services and community groups were not really part of that,” she says.
“The weather may well have changed the way some people look at it, but if we fail to speak up, we could see some very real impacts.”
Fuli says just how much communities relied on volunteer groups and ordinary people being motivated to help each other was highlighted by the Cyclone.
“The city’s obvious reliance on community groups has highlighted that they are very much a ‘core business’ of our city.”
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