Formerly New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands and MP for the Northland Electorate of New Zealand.


Moving forward together

Thursday 18 May 2017

Building our communities

As Mayor, I am often asked by ratepayers, "what do I get for my rates?" The simple answer is "a lot".

The council provides a range of services that help to make the Far North a great place to live in and visit. We are keen to highlight some of these services, so have launched a new newsletter that highlights our infrastructure projects and services in each ward.

We're doing this because people have told us that they want more information about what the council is doing to make the district a better place. We talked about some of our projects in Te Hiku Ward in the first newsletter, which we published in The Northland Age earlier this month.

These projects included the commencement of earth works at Te Hiku Sports Hub, new public toilets at Taipa and upgrades of maritime facilities and public car parks in the ward. We recognise that people are busy, so have tried to make the newsletters visually attractive, as well as quick and easy to read. Please go to our website to download a copy of the newsletter if you missed it in The Northland Age.

You can also download newsletters we have produced for the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa and Kaikohe-Hokianga Wards. In these newsletters, you can read about how the council is working with the New Zealand Transport Agency to make the intersection of State Highway 10 and Waipapa Road safer.

We talk about our plans to extend a popular footpath and cycleway on Kerikeri Road all the way to State Highway 10. In the Kaikohe-Hokianga Ward newsletter, we celebrate the completion of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail - Pou Herenga Tai and highlight plans to replace public toilets in Rawene.

We also highlight community board support for local projects in the newsletters. The three community boards have collectively allocated $101,000 in grants to 36 community projects in the last three months.

These projects include festivals and initiatives that are designed to make communities safer. The positive response we have had to stories from the newsletters on Facebook shows we are on the right track, so please look out for the newsletters if you want to know what the Council is doing on your behalf.

Future newsletters will also highlight the value the Council adds to communities via the services it provides on a day-to-day basis. Council staff and contractors deliver a range of important services across the district every day, including town maintenance, refuse and recycling centres, libraries and more.

Often, these services are not fully appreciated or used by the public, but hopefully this will change and fewer people will ask me what they get for their rates, because they already know the answer - a lot.



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