Space for a kura, issues around mangrove removal, the need for better playgrounds, road safety, speeding cars in suburban streets and dozens of other community issues were raised at Papakura Local Board’s Have Your Say event.
Held in the Sir Edmund Hillary Library, board chair Brent Catchpole says the in-person event provides members with a chance to interact with the public.
“It’s easy to take part online at Council’s Have Your Say site, but there’s no substitute for meeting with people who have something to say."
“What happens is that you can have a discussion at a meaningful level because people can explain what they mean, hear responses and ask further questions.”
He says having foreshore adaptation experts on site and being able to provide information on other consultations, such as on speeds around schools, was an added bonus.
“The event became a bit of a one-stop shop, which is exactly what we wanted. And we even had Cook Islands Language Week events going on at the same time for the little ones.
“We can’t promise ukelele music at Te Paataka Koorero o Takaanini when we do it all again on Wednesday 9 August between 10.30am and noon but we’d love to see more people telling us what they want included in our plan.”
Neighbouring Manurewa Local Board has also held an in-person event, local board chair Glenn Murphy says it gave members access to residents making impassioned pleas for their communities.
“I won’t say there’s no substitute for talking directly because there is. While our in-person event might be over, there’s still time until consultation closes on 14 August for people to have a say online.
“Local Board Plans are really important because they set out the way forward in your local areas, and the more we hear from our people, the more we have to base our decision-making around.”
At Franklin, the city's most southern board - and one of its biggest, stretching from coast to coast, consultation events continue at Awhitu, Kawakawa Bay and Beachlands over the weekend.
Turnout at other events has been down on previous years but board chair Angela Fulljames says the bulk of submissions usually don't come until the final week. "We hope that pattern is repeated because the local board plan is probably the most significant document locally. It governs where we head in local communities for the next three years.
"There's still time to get involved, and I'd encourage everyone to do so."