Addressing the rapidly increasing cost of living and turning around the breakdown of law and order in Auckland, have been highlighted as key polices for two candidates standing in the city’s upcoming council elections, for the North Shore Ward.
C&R North Shore candidates Danielle Grant and George Wood said that over the past year, their constituency has not only seen inflation rise up to 7.3 percent – making it harder to put food on the family table for many households – but had also seen a marked increase in gang-related violence and ram raids in the area.
Responding to constituent feedback on what their Kaipatiki and Devonport-Takapuna Local Board voters considered the most important issues impacting on their lives, Grant and Wood have developed a four-point strategy – focusing on addressing the cost of living, bringing back law and order to the North Shore, developing a strategic housing response for the region, and bringing in better public transport.
“North Shore families are finding life tough at the moment – petrol is more than $3 a litre, even with the Government allowances, food costs at the supermarket are up, house rentals are up, health service charges are up, phone and power bills are up. Budgets are being squeezed – but there are steps that can be taken at a local level that can address some of those financial pressures.”
“Auckland Council must show leadership and stop the wasteful spending. It is essential, now more than ever, to ensure the North Shore has a voice at the Auckland Council table that understands the importance of ratepayers’ contributions spending and their investment in the future of the North Shore.”
“Auckland Council has never been in a more severe financial situation. Auckland Council needs elected members with the business acumen to make better decisions for all of Auckland.” said Danielle Grant.
George Wood said, “If things weren’t already bad enough for families trying to make ends meet within their four walls, the North Shore has also seen a shocking rise in crime over the past year. I’m talking about the eruption of intimidating and anti-social bikie gang-related activities in and around Beach Haven, Birkdale, and Northcote linked to the Tribesman and Head Hunters gangs,” said Wood – who spent 32-years in the police force before entering local body politics.
“In parallel, we’ve also seen an increase in the incidence of ram raids – in what have traditionally been considered safe family suburbs such as Birkenhead, Glenfield, Takapuna and Belmont. This type of unlawful and disruptive activity must stop. Local government has to work with national Government and the police to bring back law and order to our communities.
“North Shore residents have the right to live their lives safely in peace without fear of intimidation by a patch-wearing gangster revving up their Harley Davidson in the street, or having to walk around shards of broken shop window glass from another family-owned store which has been smashed into by a stolen car. Enough is enough. This has got to stop.
“The council must adequately and effectively fund community crime-prevention needs. This includes coordinating with local police and funding local crime-prevention groups, such as Community Patrol. Increasing police numbers and more effective rostering is a no-brainer for the North Shore,” said George Wood.
Danielle Grant said that in addition to economic and social platforms, she and fellow C&R North Shore candidate George Wood were also campaigning on infrastructure policies.
“Housing is very much at the forefront for those residents in the likes of Devonport, Northcote Point, and Birkenhead Point – where they face the reduction and removal of their Special Character zoning, which could lead to scores of beautiful heritage dwellings being bulldozed and replaced with characterless apartment or terraced unit blocks,” said Danielle Grant.
“We are not anti-development, just that any residential intensification is undertaken with reverence to this area’s historical architecture. New apartments and terraced homes have a place, just not willy-nilly around the North Shore. As we seek to use the land to develop housing or target new builds, we can’t lose our notable trees or special character houses.
“And with all these new residents coming to live on the Shore, we must look at developing a cohesive and achievable public transport plan that will serve the area for a generation to come.
“Our North Shore Ward are surrounded on three sides by water, so reliable main highway links and mixed-mode transport from land and sea are important. We need to have an honest conversation about increased ferry services and connections, more and better bus connectivity, rail, and improving the harbour crossing options.”
Danielle Grant said the efficiency of Onewa Road and its new and much-despised transit lane cameras needed to be reviewed to deliver optimum effective traffic flow movements. A similar view had to be taken with Lake Road, between Devonport and Hauraki.
Endorsing the Danielle Grant/George Wood campaign, C&R President Kit Parkinson said: "Danielle and George are long-standing and dedicated members of the North Shore who have served the community with skill and compassion. Together, they bring a wealth of experience in local government, managing business and law and order. They will offer fresh ideas and bring common sense back to the Auckland Council table.”
The centre-right C&R organisation has been active in Auckland local government for more than 80-years. Auckland mayoral candidate Viv Beck has been endorsed by the C&R organisation in her bid to become the city’s next mayor.