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Story written on Feb 28, 2018

South Aucklanders urged to have their say on future of walking and cycleways

Healthy Families, Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura is behind a new advocacy group encouraging families and individuals to make public submissions on the future of walking and cycling infrastructures in South Auckland over the next 10 years.

The South Auckland Advocacy Working Group or SAAWG is made up of local community groups, organisations and community champions who are urging South Aucklanders to have their say on the Auckland Council’s Long-Term Plan (LTP). 

The LTP will inform the Auckland Council on how to invest in the city over the next 10 years. The plan is divided into different stages of development but there is no set date on when investment will begin in the greater South Auckland area.

“We think that needs to change and are encouraging the public to make a submission to let Auckland Council know what is important to them in terms of walking and cycleways and how they use local parks,” says South Auckland Advocacy Working Group member, Wesley Tugia.

“We want an equitable share of the investment for South Auckland because this is a vibrant area with diversity and incredible growth and we need to put money into developing those areas now, to make it safe for our communities.”

HFMMP called a meeting in December 2017 to discuss the idea of setting up the advocacy group.  Over 15 different groups and community representatives agreed that there was a need for such a group who could mobilise people in South Auckland to make submissions and to have a greater say about what they want for their community.

“We want to make sure people in South Auckland have the opportunity to be heard and to get across what really matters to them when it comes to the way people move either by walking or cycling and making the most of the parks in their area,” says Wesley Tugia.

“The young demographic profile out South means that opportunities for children and young people to access life-enhancing experiences is of strategic importance. With a high youth population, delaying investment in walking and cycling infrastructure may also mean compromising policy objectives around youth training and employment.”

“If we don’t speak up and tell the Council now why investing in South Auckland should be a priority, we will have to wait a lot longer to see anything happen and that’s not acceptable,” says SAAWG member and Community Champion, Ray Parker from Papakura.

Members of SAAWG are also working on making a group submission on the plan and utilise their own networks to increase the number of submissions from South Auckland.

Submissions open on 28th February and close on 28th March 2018.

HFMMP is the backbone of SAAWG and other members come from across the different sectors of Health, Education and NGO’s such as Time To Thrive To Stay Alive Trust, Roots Collective, Counties Manukau Community Leisure Management (CLM), Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS), University of Auckland, Sun Pix, Asian Public Health, and Community Champions.

 

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