Taking Transition Towns to the Town Hall
One of the characteristics of the transition town movement (of which Grey Lynn 2030 is part) is recognition of the need to develop a positive and productive relationship with local government. This relationship is seen as essential to progressing plans, projects and securing funding for local initiatives. Since being established in 2008 Grey Lynn 2030 has taken this approach. First with the Western Bays Community Board and more recently engaging with Auckland Council on the Auckland Plan and establishing the Grey Lynn Urban Environment group to feed into the recent draft Unitary Plan. We are taking the vision of transition towns to the Town Hall!
At the first super city elections in 2010 I was fortunate to be elected with the support of Grey Lynn 2030 which provided the opportunity to shape the agenda of the first Waitemata Local Board. Drafting the local board plan was one of the initial tasks of the Board to guide decision making and actions over the 3 year term. You can see Grey Lynn 2030’s contribution throughout the plan and reflected in the vision of the Board to foster and develop vibrant, connected and sustainable communities.
The priorities in the plan include waste minimisation with projects such as the development of a resource recovery centre and drinking fountains to reduce waste from plastic bottles. There is a focus on caring for the environment including ecological restoration of our urban bush and one of Grey Lynn 2030’s first projects to daylight Edgars stream. Supporting urban food production through community gardens and fruit trees in parks is in the plan as well as the development of a local plan for cutting carbon emissions that will be focused on energy use, sustainable transport options and waste reduction.
Heading into the Auckland Council elections that get underway on September 21 (when voting papers are sent out for a 3 week postal ballot ending on 12 October) the Grey Lynn 2030 Trustees have reconfirmed their endorsement (I am standing as a community independent with City Vision). There is still much to do to in response to the challenges of our time. I am privileged to have this opportunity to take grass roots priorities and initiatives directly into the heart of local government. Other members of the transition towns network are also standing. Founder of Grow Sandringham and the Sandringham Farmers Market, Lisa Loveday has put herself forward for the Albert-Eden Local Board.
Local Boards have extensive responsibilities for local facilities, services and a million dollar budget that can have a positive impact on our neighbourhoods. Want to hear the Waitemata candidates commitment to a sustainable future? Come along to the Grey Lynn Meet the Candidates evening. Check out www.greylynn2030.co.nz for details
Grey Lynn 2030’s Ponsonby News Column September 2013