Auckland Mayor Phil Goff (Photo Supplied)
September 27, 2019
It was a pleasure to attend the First Annual Festivals of South India in Glendowie last weekend. Thank you to everyone who was involved for an entertaining and enjoyable evening of traditional music, culture, dance and cuisine.
I am looking forward the Multicultural Diwali Festival at Charles Street in Papatoetoe, from 12 pm on Saturday, October 5, 2019.
This is a precursor to the Auckland Diwali Festival the following weekend (12-13 October) at Aotea Square. More than 54,000 people are expected to turn out to enjoy music, dance, food, culture and fireworks over the weekend, making it one of the major highlights of Auckland’s event series as well as one of New Zealand’s largest cultural festivals.
The increasing number of cultural festivals in Auckland reflects our growing multicultural population. They’re a great opportunity to celebrate diversity with friends and family and to learn about and enjoy the many cultures that make up our city.
Auckland’s diversity is likely to continue increasing as our population grows. The recent release of the 2018 Census data shows that the number of Aucklanders has increased to 1,571,718—up 11% since the 2013 Census.
All local board areas except Aotea Great Barrier experienced growth, with the strongest increases in Papakura and Rodney. Overall, Auckland accounted for 34.1% of New Zealand’s population increase between 2013 and 2018.
To ensure that Auckland continues to meet the demands of our increasing growth we are investing heavily in infrastructure, particularly in our transport network and the environment.
Transport projects already underway, such as the City Rail Link and the Puhinui Station Interchange, will help tackle traffic congestion and encourage more people to use public transport. The success so far of our Free Child Weekend fares—which has seen a 120% increase in the number of young Aucklanders using public transport in the weekends since it launched—shows that people will embrace alternative travel options when they are made affordable and accessible.
This helps reduce traffic congestion for people who do choose to drive, as well as lowering carbon emissions.
Protecting the environment
Environmental projects enabled by the Natural Environment and Water Quality targeted rates will allow us to bring forward improvements to the water quality of our beaches by 20 years and help us address climate change and the threats that predators and diseases like kauri dieback pose to our native plant and animal species.
I am proud of the record levels of investments we’re making in Auckland. While we are making strong progress, there is still much work to do as we strive to become a world-class city.