Coast needs front of mind

Local knowledge and experience count. When projects, budgets and plans are up for consideration we need to make sure the Hibiscus Coast can make the most of opportunities. In this term of Council I'm keen to see the Hammerhead issue at Gulf Harbour resolved so that the possibility of a lease on the land that council already owns is sorted. Then we can fully activate the ferry service with a 7-day service.  I'm keen to work with local businesses to put a business case together for this and make it happen.

Weekend ferries both ways would open up the possibility of trips out to Shakespear Park, improve the market of local cafés and restaurants and Gulf Harbour businesses generally, add to the patronage of the two golf courses and also make for pleasant trips into Auckland on the weekend.

The advent of Penlink offers the opportunity to fast track a walkway/cycleway along the Weiti linking Arkles Bay through to Red Beach and possibly all the way to Silverdale. This flat route would be immensely appealing: wonderful views and easy cycling, cutting out Whangaparāoa's hills. What a way to get to work if you work locally!

There are always things to challenge like the potential sale of the airspace above the park and rides. That huge new retirement village in Silverdale is a real concern so we need to make sure there are connections to East Coast Road, that it generates as little traffic as possible, and to make sure that the needs of the community are fully considered before a sale of property. It still rankles that the Ōrewa Council building could have been considered as a replacement library and community facility (HM November 4).

Upcoming is the issue of roadside weed management with the possibility that local communities may be able to determine their choice of method within a standard budget across the region. This could mean that the Hibiscus Coast could shift to the hot water method that was successfully used in the Upper Harbour and Kaipatiki Local Board areas.

Achieving these kinds of results is not easy and involves working with Local Boards, community groups and encouraging innovative businesses.

Across a whole range of issues, hearing and having the support of local people and businesses is what can make all the difference. This year has shown us how important it is for people, communities and our nation to work together.

Being confined to the Coast for a while was a chance to even more fully enjoy the community. Let's look forward to a safe and satisfying summer on the Coast with family and friends.