People in Howick are keeping their demands for Auckland Council simple: protect their ward's "special character" while ensuring trips to the city are less of an ordeal.

Most people the Herald spoke on Howick's main street said they opposed infill housing in the area, and were frustrated with congestion and the lack of viable transport options.

An upgrade to the ferry terminal at Half Moon Bay has been given the green light, but issues remain with the availability of carparks there. Bus lanes and a flyover are planned to alleviate congestion on busy Pakuranga Rd.

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There was also a sense of apathy towards the race for councillor.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said she would vote for mayor but not for councillor, as none of the candidates stood out. Another man who wished to remain anonymous said he'd rather see graffiti on the walls than the "visual pollution that is their signs".

Howick Residents and Ratepayers chairwoman Gayleen Mackereth, also running for the local board, said retaining Howick's "special character" in the face of intensification was of significance to voters.

"People want to preserve our amazing views against the threat of incongruous development. People are very angry about that. It means so much because it is the essence of Howick."

Mackereth also feels there needs to be a greater engagement with young people within the ward.

"They seem to be getting a little bit left behind in terms of having their voices heard."

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Cockle Bay Residents and Ratepayers chairman Laurie Slee said he was concerned at losing views from Stockade Hill in the centre of Howick because of intensification.

"It's happened in other places. The general level of rates, and obviously transport, remain points of concern."


Slee said he didn't believe bus lanes should be introduced "at the expense of private cars".
"There just isn't the frequency of affordable transport going to where people want to go."