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31 MARCH 2013

I dont believe there is enough awareness about what the draft Unitary Plan means for towns like Manurewa and Papakura The Mayor has set a vision for a quality compact city, he tells us this is what we asked for. 15,000 submissions out of one million adults living in Auckland and he considers he has a mandate to tell us how we want to live. The Deputy Mayor is leading the charge on implementing a Unitary Plan in record time to enable the Mayors compact city. I oppose the speed in which this plan is taking place; it is not possible to condense 7 district and regional plans into 1 plan for Auckland region without compromise or errors in such a short time frame. It is even less possible to inform the people who live here about what it means for their futures. What the plan does mean for towns like Manurewa and Papakura is multi-storied apartment buildings along rail corridors and above retail shops. It means losing the kiwi dream of owning a house on a plot of land. It means losing our character of homes around our town centres and converting them into tenanted multi storied buildings. With submissions closing on the 31st of May, it is vital that you have your say and make a submission on this draft plan. For more information drop me an email or come and visit me at the Local Board office. I will be leading a public meeting this Wednesday 3rd April 6.30pm in the Weymouth Primary School Hall . Aspects this meeting will discuss specifically relate to transport and the environment.

A concern for Weymouth residents is the touted bridge from Karaka to Weymouth. The bridge is not in the draft unitary plan but there appears to be a collective who would like to have it added to the final unitary plan that will come out for consultation mid-late 2013. This bridge is not on the Manurewa Local Board agenda. The reprioritisation for enhancements to the Takanini Interchange is. Calum, Sir John Walker and I have been meeting with NZTA, Auckland Transport and Central Government politicians to lobby this project forward. As always it comes down to money. Our argument is the economic cost of trucks and cars sitting in traffic, the increase pressure to be realised from housing developments in Papakura including the Manukau Golf Course, the inability for new business to come to Takanini through lack of roading infrastructure, the slow down effect for freight in reaching the inland port at Wiri and airport at Mangere. To give this interchange a higher priority in the list of `jobs to be done will ease the burden on local roads such as Mill Road, Hill Rd, Great South Rd and Roscommon Rd. A solution Auckland Transport is looking towards is the widening of Mill Rd from the Redoubt Road off ramp though to Drury. This controversial plan has yet to be approved and is heavily underfunded but would see 330 properties affected including the demolition of more than 60 homes along this proposed roading development. Calum and I continue to liaise between affected residents and Auckland Transport during this very stressful and uncertain time for those who live along the proposed route. This is another reason why our advocacy remains staunch on enhancing the Takanini Interchange as the immediate priority. A partnership between Local Boards, Auckland Transport and NZTA to advance the reprioritisation is part of the way forward.