The Devonport-Takapuna Local Board is reaching out to its communities to meet locals face-to-face, understand their issues and seek their views.
Chairman Chris Darby is leading the initiative, which kicks off this week with board members based in five separate venues across the south-eastern ‘Shore’.
“We’re keen to hear from our local residents and business people about their concerns, aspirations and how Auckland Council can help our communities,” he says.
“As local board members, it’s an important part of our job to engage with our communities – from Devonport to Sunnynook – and to take on board their issues.”
The inaugural meetings start on Friday, February 10, with Mr Darby hosting a ‘drop in’ session at the Takapuna Service Centre from midday to 2pm.
The following day, Saturday, February 11, will see fellow board members based at the following venues between 10am – midday:
- Devonport Library
- Takapuna Library
- Sunnynook Community Centre
- Milford Mall
The format is informal but similar to the successful ‘Mayor in the Chair’ programme. Quite simply, members of the public are warmly invited to approach their local representatives who will be happy to share a conversation, record any requests for action and provide advice wherever possible.
“We’re keen to continue this pilot programme on a monthly basis – on the first Saturday of every month,” Mr Darby says. “The Friday drop-in sessions are also on the first Friday.”
In addition, the local board will also email its ever-growing community database links to the board’s agendas, minutes and its Facebook page.
“We’re keen to stay in touch with our communities this year to ensure we hear our community’s views and also let them know what the board’s doing on their behalf,” he says.
“As part of this approach we’re emailing community representatives to advise them when we’re meeting, what’s on our agenda and the decisions we’ve made.
“Throughout 2012, we’re meeting on the first Tuesday of each month on Level 3, 1 The Strand, Takapuna from 6.00 pm. Our next meeting is on Tuesday, 7 February.
“Following last year’s successful meetings at Devonport we’ll continue to venture out in 2012. Our first away meeting is at Sunnynook on 21 February.
“Everyone is warmly invited to attend the meetings which begin with a public forum when any member of the community can share their views or concerns directly with board members.
“We also have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/devonporttakapuna where anyone can access information updates and comment.”
The Devonport-Takapuna Local Board comprises Joseph Bergin, Mike Cohen, Dianne Hale, Jan O’Connor, Kevin Schwass [deputy chair] and Mr Darby.
The local board area spans from Devonport in the south to the slopes of Sunnynook in the north, taking in suburbs including Bayswater, Belmont, Hauraki, Milford and Castor Bay, with the northern busway as its western boundary.
Regular attendees at the board’s meetings include Councillors Ann Hartley and George Wood who represent the city’s North Shore ward.