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Super-city blues

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Dec. 02 / 2014

I have lived on the Hibiscus Coast 12 years.

When we first came here from West Auckland, it was a lovely place to move to.

Unfortunately, since the amalgamation of Auckland’s five councils into one supercity we have seen the services and maintenance of infrastructure that is the Auckland Council’s responsibility dwindle away.

It is now at the point where major money needs to be spent to bring roads and services up to a reasonable standard.

It appears to me that rates are being siphoned off and spent in South Auckland, Central Auckland or on the mayor’s train set, which residents from the Auckland Harbour Bridge north will not benefit from at all.

It now appears that the council has decided to put back major works such as Stage 2 of the Silverdale Park and Ride until 2026 – 11 years away.

The park and ride is already at capacity and the overflow is parking at the Silverdale rugby club. How long will it be before that is full? More building consents are being issued, but there is no money being spent on infrastructure, in particular roading.

If the council does not want to spend any money on this area, then stop issuing building permits.

Large subdivisions are going ahead in Millwater and Whangaparaoa. I believe the latter will be accommodating some 300 homes. That’s a minimum of 300 more cars on Whangaparaoa Rd.

Yet the council has once again deferred Penlink and widening of Whangaparaoa Rd from Red Beach to the Hibiscus Coast Highway.

I leave for work at 5.15am every morning.

When I first started this eight years ago there were not that many cars travelling at the same time. However, now there is a constant stream of traffic.

All people, like me, who have opted to start work early and finish early to avoid the traffic jams of trying to get off the peninsula.

Now you may say, why don’t you take the bus or ferry? The ferry won’t take me to where I work and the buses do not get me to where I work without causing great inconvenience. It is also still cheaper to take the car, but that’s not the main consideration. Until public transport takes people where they want to go when they want to go, it will not be fully used by Aucklanders.
Where is this going to end? We are almost ready to retire, but if things continue the way they are we will be unable to afford to stay in Auckland. It is getting just too expensive to live in both in financial terms and in the time it takes to get anywhere.

I have seen very little evidence of a unified stance from the councillors representing north and northwest Auckland to show that they have strongly pushed to support the Rodney area, which is declining in services and maintenance.

The best outcome I can see is to split this giant behemoth – one from the harbour bridge north and the other from the bridge south.

Len can continue to have his train set, and we will not be expected to contribute to this grand scheme that we really cannot afford.

If we believe in ‘user pays’ then make the areas that will benefit pay.

It is time that the people of the North Shore and Rodney areas stood up to be counted.

It is time that our representatives started actually representing us and it is time that we started looking for someone strong enough to lead us and guide us to split from this massive mistake that is Auckland If the rest of the country is sitting back and laughing at Auckland’s predicament – don’t.

It is only a matter of time before this is foisted on you and then you will be exactly where we were. Sure the system we had before was not perfect, but it was a hell of a lot better than what we have.

Come on Auckland – we need to stand up now.

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