30 Apr 2013

 
Published by: Auckland Now – Rodney Times

VITAL SUPPORT: Future growth for twin river towns Helensville and Parakai comes down to Auckland Council’s draft unitary plan. Residents Dianne Kidd and Pete Brenan are outside Mr Brenan’s closed restaurant Porcini in Helensville.

VITAL SUPPORT: Future growth for twin river towns Helensville and Parakai comes down to Auckland Council’s draft unitary plan. Residents Dianne Kidd and Pete Brenan are outside Mr Brenan’s closed restaurant Porcini in Helensville.

No plans for the development of Parakai or Helensville are included in the council’s draft unitary plan.

Orange is the unifying colour to rally neglected nor-west rural townships to catch Auckland Council’s attention and to highlight the need to participate in the unitary plan’s future shaping.

Concerned residents are urging others to attend two public meetings as a result.

They are using orange ribbons to promote the South Kaipara and urge participation in the unitary plan process.

Orange crosses symbolise a grim future if the plan does not deliver long awaited growth.

Helensville sheep and beef farmer Dianne Kidd says people who care about the future of Helensville, Parakai and the beautiful South Kaipara region should step up and own it.

“Our locals feel they have been ignored for too long.

“We are tired of being fobbed off with excuses and barriers to development and growth. We waited 15 years for wastewater to be upgraded whilst almost untreated sewerage spilled into our waterways.

“This would never have happened on the east coast or in Auckland city,” Mrs Kidd says.

She says the draft unitary plan will bind Helensville in bureaucratic red tape and prevent positive change and much needed growth and stimulus in the South Kaipara for the foreseeable future. More residential growth to stimulate the twin river towns is vital.

Renowned chef and award-winning businessman Pete Brennan is sad he had to close his Helensville restaurant Porcini last month as he just couldn’t make a living.

He now knows firsthand like other restaurateurs before him in the district that it’s simply a numbers game. More population equals more customers.

A proposed rural coastal zone is also a major concern.

“While the principles of environmental protection, economic farming and rural production are paramount to all farmers and landowners, we subscribe to best industry practice as directed by our industry sectors, not rules and regulations devised by city planners,” Mrs Kidd says.


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