In just seven days from when we first put this site up we have received over 200 visits and over 70 just yesterday. We have seen erudite and interesting submissions from the community board, the radio trust, the community planning group and individuals. This is not just happening here on Waiheke. Small communities all over Auckland are creating their own local action movements to tackle the issues of the supercity. Take a look at http://savepapakura.com for example. About 1000 people took to the streets of Waitakere on Wednesday for a protest march, and another 200 crammed into a meeting in Manuakau. Editorials in the Aucklander and 10 Auckland local papers ask “Who stole our voice”.
Here is a fundamental issue: how can 12 ward elected councillors honestly represent local communities? Who actually believes that a more centralised, more top down approach will lead to better representation?
Over the last 10 years how do islanders feel about their access to decision makers in the city council? Has it been a good experience? How do you feel about your one elected councillor not being allowed to represent the island. Will islanders continue to have to wear a groove up Queen St to the council offices on every issue that arises?
This is not purely a Waiheke issue. This affects all communities around the city that are trying to improve their social cohesion, environmental sustainability, local democracy and representation. Decisions made far away from the place where they take effect are usually wrong ones. Decisions made on pure economic factors regardless of the people involved cannot be the best.
You might feel that so many people have made submissions about the issue that there is no point in adding your own voice. But please do, please write today, or email, identify your own feelings on this, draw on your own expectations and experiences. We want our shout to be LOUD. because otherwise it might be the last chance to be heard.