Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Privilege to serve as Howick Local Board chairperson

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Howick Local Board chairperson Damian Light. File photo supplied
  • By Damian Light, Howick Local Board chairperson

The Howick Local Board is responsible for governance on local issues, activities, and services such as libraries, parks and community programmes.

Nine elected members represent and advocate for their community, serving the 150,000+ residents of Howick, Pakuranga, Botany and Flat Bush.

Living in Botany, it’s my privilege to serve as the chair of the Howick Local Board.

Before being elected in October 2022, I worked for over 15 years in process improvement and business performance.

I’m a member of the NZ Institute of Directors and have served on a range of boards including local community groups, charitable organisations and commercial businesses.

Making sure our community assets are fit-for-service

We’re pleased that the Howick Domain Playground has re-opened after a much-needed upgrade.

Residents have asked for more fencing around the playground which we’ll add into our future work programme.

We’re also planning to renew Orangewood Reserve, Santa Cruz and Annalong Parks this year while Clavoy and Reelick Parks will be getting minor upgrades.

Work has begun on the Cascades Walkway between Aviemore and Botany Roads to widen the pathway and renew the furniture.

Weather permitting, this will be completed by the end of June.

Addressing our budget shortfall

Auckland Council is facing financial challenges as the cost of construction and interest rates continue to increase.

Consultation on the Mayor’s proposed budget closed on March 28 with a record-breaking number of submissions.

While no decisions have been made, the reality is that we won’t be able to deliver or support everything we have in the past.

The Howick Local Board has been asked to reduce our local programmes so getting community input has been vital.

We’ve been at over a dozen local events, speaking to the public about what’s important to you.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to chat with us or fill in the forms online, in the libraries or via post.

We’re busy analysing the feedback to help guide our decisions.

None of it will be easy and we’re committing to making sure we communicate the decisions we make and why we’ve made them.

Making decisions and listening to our community

We have our business meetings on the third Thursday of each month, starting at 12noon at the Pakuranga Library Complex and are recorded so you can watch them later.

They’re open to the public and have bookable slots for people to present to us (online or in person).

Legal requirements mean there are strict rules about how these meetings are run so they’re not always the best format for meaningful discussion.

Therefore, we’re going to trial some less formal, more interactive sessions to provide more opportunities for better conversations. Look out for more details coming soon.

Find out more and stay in touch at or try

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