Auckland, August 23, 2019
It was a pleasure to attend the 73rd Indian Independence Day celebration at Auckland Museum on August 15, 2019.
It was a fantastic event and as always, I enjoyed meeting with Auckland’s Indian community to celebrate the event with them.
Events such as Indian Independence Day, and of course the upcoming Auckland Diwali Festival on October 12 and 13, 2019, demonstrate the vibrancy and cultural richness that the Indian community brings to our city, and allow us to celebrate India’s progress as a leading nation and the world’s largest democracy.
Investments for improvement
Last week, we also celebrated what we have achieved through our water quality and natural environment targeted rates.
Thanks to the support of Aucklanders, we are investing $763 million over 10 years to restore our natural environment and clean up our waterways.
The water quality targeted rate will help reduce wastewater overflows by up to 9$ and allow us to finish the task of cleaning up our waterways in less than 10 years—that’s 20 years faster than had been planned at the time I became mayor.
Other recent achievements for our environment include making 26 kms of tracks in the Waitākere and Hunua ranges safe from spreading kauri dieback disease, providing $1.4 million to support the hard work of 110 community environmental initiatives, investing $50 million in capital works to reduce wastewater contamination in the Waitematā Harbour, and putting an extra $1 million into controlling possums in our regional parks.
Million Trees Programme
Alongside that, we have successfully delivered my Million Trees Programme.
Thanks to all the Aucklanders who took part in these projects. You are making Auckland a better place and helping to ensure a better world for our children and grandchildren.
While it is encouraging to see the progress we have made, there is still much to do.
As I announced at the Diversity Centre of the Indian Association (Manukau) of New Zealand in Papatoetoe on Sunday, August 18, 2019, I intend to keep environment as the focus of my Mayoralty.
Expanding Parks, Open Spaces
We are expanding our parks and open spaces network so Aucklanders from all communities can continue to have places to get outside, play sport, enjoy nature and relax.
In the last financial year, the Council purchased 29 hectares of land for 13 new parks and open spaces; this is on top of the 62 new parks that we have acquired in the last three financial years. We re-zoned a further 236 hectares of land for public open space and recreational use.
I am proud that we have been able to increase our investment in open spaces and I look forward to seeing the land we’ve purchased transformed into beautiful spaces for people to enjoy.
For those of you living in Mount Roskill, enjoy the new Walmsley Park Reserve, which I opened recently.
We have replaced a concrete drain and boring grassed area with a natural stream, thousands of native plants, a playground, community fale and walkways and cycleways.
It is a fantastic transformation which we now want to do in other areas of Auckland.
Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland and is seeking re-election this year. Voting documents will be delivered to households between September 20 and 25, 2019 and electors can post them back to electoral officers as soon as they have voted. Sunday, October 12, 2019 is Polling Day, closing at 12 pm.