Whangārei, you’ve done it again. What an amazing weekend we’ve just had, from the Whangarei A&P Show, the International Day of People with Disabilities and the Wahine Toa II Boxing Championship, to another 62 residents becoming New Zealand citizens and the HMNZS Taupō returning to Whangārei Harbour – our crazy summer season is really kicking off!
The turnout at the A&P show on Saturday was impressive; another success story for our “little big city”. It was fantastic to have so many people talking to us about things they’re passionate about - asking about car parking in our city, plans for our CBD, what’s happening at the Brynderwyns, what we’re doing with rates, Three Waters and road maintenance.
It just goes to show how worthwhile these events are, where members of our community have the opportunity to come directly to myself, our councillors and our staff to chat about key issues face-to-face. I look forward to making this a regular occurrence.
Many of you asked for more information about the proposed 2024 Brynderwyns closure, and although I still don’t have all the details, I will always share what I do know. It was great to see the Brynderwyns highlighted as a priority within the coalition agreement. This is a fast-paced, changing environment, so I will keep you updated as news breaks.
At the time of writing this column, the only news I have about the Affordable Waters Reform is that our Government has committed to reversing the legislation within the next 100 days. I will continue to receive updates, and I am pressing our local MP to keep us informed as decisions are made.
We need clarity on the Three Waters decision as soon as possible, as the management of these assets will make a big difference to our council’s long-term planning over the next 10 years.
Of course, a big topic at the A&P Show was the condition of our roads. We’re well aware of the frustrations of our community, and we’re looking forward to a hot, dry summer that will allow the Northland Transportation Alliance to make significant progress regarding the repair and maintenance of our roads.
Please keep reporting potholes, graffiti and issues with public facilities on our council website with as much detail as possible to ensure our contractors can fix them in a timely manner. On that note, when you see roading contractors working in the hot summer sun these holidays, please drive carefully, slow down and give them a smile. They’re working hard to keep us moving.
The A&P Show kicked off what’s promising to be an exciting summer season full of family-friendly events. We’re gearing up for a busy December in our district, with the Christmas Festival already in full swing.
This year’s festival has a packed schedule of attractions, with plenty of free, accessible events for every interest from gardening to sewing, markets, zero-waste crafts, parades, concerts, walks, community pop-ups, carols, and, of course, the Great Whangārei Santa Run around the Hātea Loop.
I will be attending many of these fantastic community events, so if you see me out and about, please come and have a chat!