The ensuing local government elections are important to all of us in New Zealand, for once in three years, we get an opportunity to select people who we believe can work in our best interests.
Local elections acquire importance not just for the office of the Mayor and Councillors but also that of Local Boards and District Health Boards. These local bodies are even more important because they immediately impact on our lives. They are concerned with our immediate areas, streets, educational institutions and neighbourhoods.
It is therefore important that all of us who are eligible to vote, must exercise our franchise so that we live in safer, healthier and progressive communities.
Similarly, District Health Boards, elections to which are a part of the local government polling, are also important, because they ensure that all of us receive improved health care through better primary, secondary and specialist facilities.
As an Independent Candidate for the Papatoetoe Local Board and Counties Manukau Health Board, I am keen that our region receives the facilities that it deserves.
I am also keen that ethnic communities receive the attention and services that they deserve; and that their lot is improved.
As a resident of Papatoetoe for the past 14 years, I have experienced its challenges and problems, as much as I have witnessed it growth.
I am also aware of the growing needs of the Indian community, which accounts for almost a third of the local population.
At public gatherings, social events and other places, I hear our people saying that they often feel neglected.
They believe that despite a constant rise in rates and cost of living, they have not seen much improvement in amenities and facilities.
High growth potential
Papatoetoe is home to a large number of Indian businesses, professionals and others who contribute significantly to the local economy.
As a Justice of the Peace and Marriage Celebrant, I am keen to promote sound family values; as Chairman of the Hunters Corner Town Centre Society Inc, I work with Council officials, businesses, educational institutions and community groups to create a more congenial commercial and social environment. We need to act together to reduce social ills. We must strengthen the bylaws to regulate street prostitution, violence and make our residential areas safer.
If elected to the Local Board, I will work to (a) make our streets, public places and homes safer (b) improve healthcare, create better civil and community facilities and amenities (c) tighten Council bylaws to control street prostitution, graffiti and other social challenges (d) facilitate growth of businesses (e) improve our roads, drainage system, parks, libraries, sports centres and swimming pools
I will work for better sports and recreational facilities.
I will exercise all efforts to reopen the Citizens Advice Bureau in Papatoetoe, so that people can benefit from its various services.
I will certainly work for enhancement of transparency in governance and for welfare of our community. I will promote unity in diversity, strengthen and protect our vibrant communities.
Narinder Singla is a candidate in the ensuing Papatoetoe Local Board and Counties Manukau District Health Board elections.