Here is the transcript of Pippa Coom’s
Presentation on the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill
on behalf of Grey Lynn2030
9 July 2009
My name is Pippa Coom I am on the steering committee of Grey Lynn 2030.
Thank you for this opportunity to talk to our submission.
I would like to go into more detail about who we are so that I can highlight practical examples of why it is so vital for community groups like Grey Lynn 2030 to have a working relationship with Local Boards that have a real and meaningful role with adequate resources and funding
I would like to be brief to allow time for questions.
The transition town movement came out of a response to the twin challenges of an energy-constrained world and climate change. However rather than focus on the doom and gloom it has been a catalyst for practical positive initiatives that respond to local issues. What we have found is that a majority of our 500 supporters are drawn to Grey Lynn 2030 because of the opportunity to be involved with a group promoting and engaging in building neighbourhood spirit and cooperation while working towards a vision of a self –reliant, positive, connected and sustainable community.
I would also like to emphasise that there are now estimated to be over 2 million groups around the world working towards complimentary objectives borne from concern for the environment. We are not in any way a fringe group that is unique to trendy Grey Lynn.
So I hope I have now set the scene to provide a couple of practical examples.
Grey Lynn 2030 supports initiatives as simple as a group of neighbours getting together to transform a vacant section into a community garden or clean up a local stream and undertake tree planting. We can make a lot of progress relying on the enthusiasm of volunteers but to make meaningful progress at some point we need to interact with a local board. For example the Grey Lynn Farmers market which came out of GL2030 and is starting in September in a temporary location at the community hall needs to work with a board with powers to decide location and funding.
The local board should be able to make decisions wherever possible on local issues such as parks, roads, street design, community development, events, recreational facilities, footpaths, resource recovery options, food production and water management. These are the issues that get people excited and engaged at a local level and should be encouraged to develop community identity.
Yes there are aspects of regional governance that will benefit from a unified structure but it is critical that local communities are sustainable, resilient, positive and able to engage on a meaningful level with local boards. The bill provides an excellent opportunity to correct the mistakes of previous restructuring by giving an appropriate number of boards the ability to act locally, with real funding to support grass roots initiatives, set their own policies and have a meaningful say over their own governance.