Wednesday 15 June 2016

Media statement: Roskill Community Voice backs Three Kings Alternative Plan in Environment Court, despite Auckland Council gagging

“The Roskill Community Voice team on the Puketapapa Local Board have formally voted to back the local Three Kings community and the alternative development scheme for Three Kings, developed by leading landscape architect Richard Reid”, say Local Board members Harry Doig and Michael Wood

“At a Local Board meeting last week, we formally expressed our support for the alternative plan developed by Mr Reid and gave it our political endorsement, even though Auckland Council is formally gagging the Local Board from being heard in the Environment Court case about the Three Kings development” says Mr Doig.

“Mr Reid’s alternative development scheme (available here) has our support because:

  • It delivers a strong residential yield, allowing for high-quality medium density development in the quarry, and supporting further residential development opportunities for surrounding land-owners.
  • It provides adequate open space and communal space for apartment dwellers and the local community.
  • It respects and rehabilitates our remaining maunga Te Tatua-a- Riukiuta/Big King by providing a sufficient buffer between development and the cone.
  • It is a high quality, modern design that creates connections across the community, and enables local residents to walk, cycle, or easily connect to public transport.

On every count, Mr Reid’s alternative plan is superior to the Fletcher Residential Plan, which raids and effectively privatises public reserve land, compromises Big King, and creates housing in a large depression up to nineteen metres deep, disconnected from the surrounding community”, says Mr Wood.

“Auckland Council has now formally blocked the Local Board from being heard in the Environment Court process on behalf of the local community. However the Board has given its political endorsement to Board members Harry Doig and Michael Wood giving evidence in their personal capacities in support of the alternative plan. Disappointingly, the C&R minority on the Board have called for the Board to be “passive by-standers” and continue to support the Fletchers position, rather than the local community”, says Mr Doig.

“The re-development of Three Kings is a major issue in our community and a huge opportunity if done well. We and the community support high quality medium density housing, developed in sympathy with the sensitive volcanic landscape, and connected to the surrounding community”, says Mr Wood.

Harry Doig: 027 241 2209
Michael Wood: 022 659 6360

Monday 25 April 2016

For Each Other - ANZAC 2016 Address

Julie delivered the 2016 ANZAC Address at the Mt Roskill Civic service, at Mt Roskill War Memorial Park.  Thanks to David Slack's Sunday Star Times column for the inspiration.


From the initials of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp

Throughout the years the use and meaning of ANZAC has changed, evolved, from a simple short hand reference to a group of soldiers formed in Egypt in 1915.

Biscuits and poppies.  Friendly yet serious rivalry on the sports field.  At times a justification and even a glorification of war, at others a firm rejection of conflict and violence.  A frigate, a bridge, a square, a town, a movie.  A date on the calendar – a public holiday, a ceremony, a day. 

A cove on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.

So much now that goes into those five letters ANZAC.

The ANZAC spirit is considered to represent the unique Trans Tasman relationship, a shared commitment to endurance, courage, comradery, service and sacrifice, forged in the brutal violence of the first World War, when we were the invaders not the defenders, fighting as part of a clash between empires now long gone. 

Australians and New Zealanders have fought many times in the same wars. The first time Australian troops fought on the same battlefields as New Zealanders was in fact over 50 years before Gallipoli, during the Taranaki Wars, an assault on Te Atiawa.  At Gallipoli along with the Turks there were also soldiers from India, Britain and France. 

Many families from all over the Pacific sent sons, fathers, brothers, via New Zealand, not least those of Niue.  It is a great honour to have now in Mt Roskill War Memorial Park a stone to the soldiers of Niue, building on the intention that this area become a place of remembrance and peace for our community.   I thank the Niue RSA for their hard work to bring this important project to fruition.

I acknowledge the descendants of those who have served, from many countries and in many times, who live in Mt Roskill now, alongside those who have themselves served directly, our veterans, and those who have come here from places of conflict as migrants seeking peace.

While war is synonymous with violence, for many of those who went, for those who served at home and abroad in so many vital roles, wartime was not without bright spots. 

And much of that brightness was about comradeship.  Friendship, goodwill, service to others, solidarity.That most Australasian of terms “mateship”.

The ANZAC spirit is woven through with ideas of mateship, yes initially between New Zealanders and Australians, but also, as many visitors to the memorials of Gallipoli will know from first hand experience, between Turks and those of the Antipodes. 

Some of those who fought did so no doubt for King and Country.  Yet when the trenches were dug, and the bullets flew, they fought for their mates, they fought for each other. 

At home women took on new roles, keeping farms and businesses running, families as whole as could be, for each other.  For those with them and those far away, they fought, in a different way, and they served too.

The nurses and medical staff, the stretcher bearers and truck drivers, all gave in their own ways, perhaps for some larger concept of answering the call of Mother England, but also, certainly, out of care for the humanity, the people, around them, in need of their help, for each other.

Even for those who refused to fight, who objected to New Zealand’s involvement  in that war, they did so for the children of those here and there, they went to jail for each other.

That is mateship, the sense that we are greater than the sum of our parts, and that we will give, we will sacrifice, we will serve, for each other. 

If, as we build and shape the Mt Roskill of today and the future, we keep in mind that ANZAC spirit of mateship, of solidarity and service, we will leave our community better than we found it. 

As today we commemorate together and pledge to remember, so we shall leave this place together, and carry with us a piece of this day and our collective commitment to service, as the ANZACs did,

For each other.

Monday 14 March 2016

Media statement: Talented candidates selected for City Vision and Roskill Community Voice

“With candidates including existing Ward Council and Local Board members, a former All Black, a Grey Power Branch President, and a strong young voice from Auckland’s Indian community, the City Vision and Roskill Community Voice candidates selected this weekend, are the strongest teams we have ever fielded in our communities”, says local campaign organiser Michael Wood, speaking after two City Vision candidates were selected to stand for the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward, and six Roskill Community Voice candidates were selected to stand for the Puketapapa Local Board, at the weekend.

“Our talented candidates are as follows:

City Vision candidates for Governing Body in Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward:
  • Dr Cathy Casey, current Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward Councillor
  • Dr Peter Haynes, current Chair of the Albert-Eden Local Board

Roskill Community Voice candidates for Puketapapa Local Board:
  • Anne-Marie Coury, President Auckland Branch of Grey Power
  • Harry Doig, current Puketapapa Local Board member
  • Julie Fairey, current Chair of the Puketapapa Local Board
  • David Holm, current Puketapapa Local Board member
  • Shail Kaushal, recent graduate and Citizens Advice Bureau volunteer
  • Ofisa ‘Junior’ Tonu’u, former All Black and local youth zone manager

“We are focussed on being a strong community voice for the people of Albert-Eden-Roskill and Puketapapa. Our candidates are grounded in the local community and will stand up for the things that matter to local people – better public transport, affordable housing options, care for our environment, and a Council that starts listening to communities instead of dictating from top-down”

“Representing our communities is a privilege we expect to earn. Our candidates will be working hard from now right through to the local government election in October to listen to our communities and win their support. Our communities deserve a strong community voice”, says Michael Wood.