In 2019/2020 we plan to invest $776,000 to renew and develop assets and $2.6 million to maintain and operate assets, as well as provide local programmes and initiatives.
For information on the investment plan, see section 2.4 (page 29) of the supporting information document for the capital spend and operating spend for Great Barrier Local Board 2019/2020.
What we are doing
During 2018 we delivered grant funding to support our health, welfare, education and other community groups.
We also supported alternative energy systems through capital grants funding and the Claris council building upgrade.
We completed the Visitor Strategy and a connectivity report for the island. We'll be implementing the strategy and advocating for better internet service.
We've upgraded our wharf infrastructure and sealed Sandhills Road and will continue to investigate a viewing platform at Windy Canyon and cemetery sites for the north and centre of the island.
We'll continue to deliver our environmental programmes for pest control, hold Ecology Vision workshops, improve water quality in our streams and look to protect our waters from marine pests and pollution.
Over the next few years, we will also look to address some of the problems surrounding our housing issues of affordability and availability.
What we are proposing
We're not proposing major changes to the existing work programme for 2019/2020 as we continue to deliver the projects identified in our 2017 Local Board Plan.
Message from the chair
Auckland Council's 10-year Budget was signed off in 2018 and included a targeted natural environment rate that provides more funding towards biosecurity on Aotea and the Hauraki Gulf Islands. We were also recognised for our unique situation as an off-the-grid island in the outer gulf and received exemption from the regional fuel tax.
Our focus for 2019/2020 is to continue to deliver on our 2017 Local Board Plan initiatives and we are proposing no major changes. These initiatives include: grants funding for our health, welfare, education and other community groups; implementation of the visitor strategy; compliance funding for our Dark Sky Sanctuary; continued investigation into cemeteries in the north and centre of the island; upgrading of our wharf and airport infrastructure; sealing of our roads; investigation of a viewing platform at Windy Canyon and investigation of an education and research centre. We will also continue to advocate for better connectivity, better council procurement systems, political support for Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari and climate change mitigation.
Last year, environment was high in the community consciousness with Rakitu and the submission on the CRL dumping. Conversations must continue as we endeavour for the best outcome for our island through collaboration and new methodologies. In 2019/2020, we will continue to support the Ecology Vision, environmental programmes and freshwater stream monitoring. We will also continue our investment in alternate energy systems that will safeguard us into the future, such as the solar upgrade of our Claris council offices and grants funding for our community facilities.
A couple of new initiatives we would like to specifically focus on for 2019/2020 are housing and marine pests and pollution. Housing is tricky as it covers a broad spectrum from affordability concerns, absence of social housing and a lack of rental availability. The board is currently working on an Area Plan which will assist in the transition from the Hauraki Gulf Island District Plan into the Unitary Plan and we will be looking at a variety of other ways to address some of the issues.
Marine pests and pollution are another gnarly issue and will involve working with iwi, Department of Conservation, other regional councils, private businesses and individuals. We will look at ways this can be addressed through policy and education.
It's always important to hear from you to enable us to make the best decisions for our community. Please send in your feedback or join us at the Have Your Say meetings.
Ngā mihi nui,
Chair – Aotea Great Barrier Local Board
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