Damian Light: What’s something you feel is missing from the community?

There are definitely things that need doing, but the first thing that comes to mind is communication. It’s not missing entirely, but we need more of it. There are plenty of really good projects and activities underway around our community, but they’re often hidden and unseen. We need to get better at ensuring that all parties are aware of what’s going on and trust in the outcomes.

There are a lot of projects on the go around Kaipatiki, many to build some great community facilities. Most are the result of engagement with the local community to identify a gap or opportunity, which is fantastic. But from a distance, it can appear like spending large amounts of money for little benefit. I know details about most of them which tells me that they’re a worthwhile spend, but it’s not as obvious to everyone. Absolutely we need to trust out council, but they need to trust us too, with information and communication.

The recent issue with the Verrans Cnr roadworks is a clear example – a series of well-meaning decisions by Auckland Transport, but not communicated. From the outside, it was a fiasco and it felt like it was poorly managed. That might not be entirely fair, but without communication and information, we can only guess. The complete opposite is Auckland Transports consultation on the new network – it’s open, honest, clear and engaging. We know why they’re doing it, what they’re hoping to get from it and what we can do to engage.

Multi-way communication between the council, people, community groups and organisations is critical. It builds a sense of trust, belonging and ownership

– Damian Light, United Future