One of the most significant characteristics of cities and their suburbs in New Zealand is their colourful history, dating back to the early settlers. Most of them have undergone vast changes in demography, lifestyle and environment but miraculously retain their original flavour of simplicity, friendliness and the spirit of good neighbourhood.
Among them is Papatoetoe in the heart of Manukau.
The suburb is today one of the most important business districts of Greater Auckland, with an increasing number of retailers, professionals, service providers and restaurants establishing their presence to capture the ever-growing market potential. Over the past three years, Papatoetoe in general and Hunters Corner in particular, has begun to challenge Mt Roskill as the ‘Haven of Indian Shopping.’
The Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board area includes the suburbs of Otara, Papatoetoe, East Tamaki, Puhinui and Manukau Central. The Board area is home to diverse and vibrant communities, with strong community networks.
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.
Papatoetoe residents should enjoy living in an established area, with close proximity to the airport, motorway, industrial areas in Wiri and East Tamaki and the sub-regional Manukau city shopping Centre, Hunters Corner, Otara Town Centre and St George Street area.
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.
Narinder Singla is a candidate in the ensuing Papatoetoe Local Board and Counties Manukau District Health Board elections.