Community empowerment leads to thriving communities

Published: Mon 26 Aug 2013 11:06 AM
Community empowerment leads to thriving communities, says Councillor Candidate Christine Rose
Communities should be empowered to develop their own social and economic futures, says Waitakere Councillor Candidate Christine Rose. This is in response to a series of workshops run by visiting neighbourhood organiser Jim Diers from Seattle, who is on his third trip in recent times advising New Zealanders on how best to develop thriving communities.
“Thriving communities are those that manifest their own visions and desires, working on local strengths and networks” says Mrs Rose. “Instead of top-down planning, communities need to be enabled from the bottom up, to innovate and create lively, living spaces where public life is the norm”.
“Too many of our communities are divided. Roads shape our civic life, meaning we’re socially isolated, and local economies suffer. By bringing the local back into local government, and giving communities the tools to lead investment, everyone benefits. We then end up with town centres that are humming, people oriented, economically viable”.
At a recent “Thriving Town, Thriving Communities” event run by the Te Atatu Community Network, Jim Diers shared examples where communities across the New Zealand and the World have taken the initiative in shaping their local streetscapes, and ‘placemaking’, to great effect.
Mrs Rose says walking and cycling has an important role in promoting local shopping and vibrant town centres. Arts, culture, music and social enterprise enliven communities. By giving locals the tools and resources for positive change and inspiring grass roots activism, the outcome is more likely to be right for each area, enduring, respected by all and reflecting the local character and culture, and distinctive traits of each area.
“Every place is special. Community planning should reflect that,” says Mrs Rose.
Background Info
Christine Rose is standing as Councillor representing Waitakere on the Auckland Council.
Christine Rose is a proven advocate for the West. She has 15 years local & regional government experience, including six years on the Auckland Regional Council with Mike Lee and Sandra Coney, current Auckland Councillors who fully endorse her for the Waitakere Ward Council position. Christine was Deputy Chair of the Council for a term, Chair of the Regional Transport Committee and Deputy Chair of Parks and Heritage. Christine supports more affordable and efficient transport given the West faces years of congestion on the NorthWestern Motorway & increasing travel costs. As West Auckland continues to grow, local parks, sportsfields, swimming pools and other facilities need to be provided while keeping Council costs down. Christine wants to see better control of ‘Council Controlled Organisations’, and a solution to the Ports of Auckland dispute. She supports affordable, good quality, well designed, energy efficient housing. Christine is concerned about growing poverty, and youth unemployment, and supports local clean jobs and businesses, and a Living Wage for workers. Christine supports arts and heritage and is a well-known environmentalist.

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