Residents group being resurrected

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Steve Udy is working to get a local residents group up and running again. Times file photo

Keen locals are needed to help breathe new life into a once active east Auckland community group that’s been dormant for several years.

Steve Udy is spearheading an effort to re-establish the Bucklands and Eastern Beaches Residents and Ratepayers Association.

The former Howick Local Board member is holding a public meeting in Bucklands Beach on August 8 and he’s asking anyone who might be able to get involved to go along.

“With significant events of late impacting our community driven by Auckland Council, council-controlled organisations, and central Government, there’s a real public demand to ensure our opinions matter on issues that impact our community,” Udy says.

“The Bucklands and Eastern Beaches Residents and Ratepayers Association was established over 40 years ago to represent our community, but it needs revitalising to better serve our community.

“We need enthusiastic Bucklands and Eastern Beach residents to help re-establish our association [and] we need volunteers to help form a steering committee.

“If people don’t want to join a steering committee that’s fine, we would like them to help us confirm what we think are the major issues impacting our community.”

Udy says some of those challenges relate to road safety, fishing, infill housing, beach erosion, visitor behaviour, and public transport.

“These are by no means all our issues but unless we work together as a group we are unlikely to see resolution or progress.”

He says the association has been inactive for a variety of reasons including people being too busy or just not wanting to get involved.

Many of the active participants in ratepayer groups have traditionally been among the community’s more senior residents, he says.

“What has changed clearly is we have council-led initiatives, like the housing density issues within the new Auckland Unitary Plan, having a significant impact like never before on people’s properties and communities.

“Others like transport issues impact people’s lives from a safety perspective, or just being able to get to work on time.

“The net result is more Bucklands Beach and Eastern Beach residents are becoming increasingly concerned at council-driven issues impacting our community.

“A number have asked to re-establish the association, which I’m pleased to drive.”

Udy says one positive change is he’s getting enthusiasm from a “young demographic and new residents”.

“More importantly I would hope we can establish an organisation that can utilise changing communication methods such as Facebook and others.

“What I’m looking for at the conclusion of our meeting is a revitalised steering committee that will represent our whole community taking advantage of today’s communication methods.

“And hopefully be strong in representing issues impacting our community.”

The meeting is at Bucklands Beach Yacht Club, Ara-Tai Road, from 7.30pm-8.30pm on August 8 and all are welcome.