Community News

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"Private sector operation of prisons provides the opportunity for better outcomes in prisoner management and rehabilitation, irrespective of recent issues at Mt Eden prison," says NZ Council for Infrastructure Development chief executive Stephen... Read more

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The imported frozen berries linked to a Hepatitis A health scare have been identified and recalled, according to a recent New Zealand Herald report.   "The company is FSL Foods, and the brand being recalled is Fruzio Mixed Berries sold in 1kg and 500... Read more

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Family First NZ says that a mother who withdrew her 9-year-old from a sex education classes run... Read more

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This week, Auckland Council has been highlighting examples of shoddy building practice to show how they are actively monitoring compliance with the Building Act across... Read more

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Some Auckland Council services will change on Labour Day and throughout the following week. RUBBISH COLLECTIONS From the week starting Monday 26 October (Labour Day) most council rubbish and recycling collections will run one day... Read more

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Trees for Survival is an environmental education programme which involves young people growing and planting native trees to restore natural habitats by helping landowners revegetate erosion prone land, improve stream flow and water quality and increase... Read more

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The East West transport connection project is a joint project between the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport that is hoped  will transform the way freight moves between SH1 and SH20 around Penrose and Onehunga.   Auckland Transport... Read more

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The manufacture of illegal drugs causing P-Lab contamination, especially methamphetamine, is a serious problem in Auckland.   P-Labs, where methamphetamine is manufactured, can become contaminated and pose health risks to... Read more

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Auckland recently took another step towards unlocking the potential of more than one billion worth of council-owned land under management when  Read more

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Auckland Council's `OurAuckland' magazine is a good way of promoting your community event. OurAuckland promotes... Read more

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Over the next 10 years, Auckland Council is going to be developing a network of inorganic waste recovery centres so that people can drop off unwanted goods at any time of the year. Reusable items recovered from inorganic collections will provide... Read more

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AMETI will be delivered in several stages. The first in Panmure is complete and the next stage from Panmure to Pakuranga will begin construction in 2017. Stage 1 features Panmure Station has been upgraded to create an... Read more

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There has been a recent spate of car thefts and also truck batteries from parked vehicles in Botany.  Truck owners are encouraged to secure their batteries with custom made cradles and ensure gates to their premises are locked. All... Read more

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Botany Youth MP Speech Competition is open to select a young person to represent Botany in Youth Parliament. This year Youth Parliament is taking place on 19-20 July 2016 and is a cross-party initiative aimed at increasing youth awareness and interactions with the NZ... Read more

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New Zealand employers in the 50's through to the 70's saw the value of taking on an apprentice as a means of recruiting and training new employees. They were ably assisted by tertiary institutions who conducted classes (mainly at night) in order to help provide the knowledge and... Read more

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Do you want to view Auckland Council meetings streaming live?    Some might say; "isn't that a bit like watching paint dry?' however for those who would like to see what councilors actually do/say (and how they behave), in Auckland Council meetings,... Read more

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Trees for Survival (TFS) was started in 1988 after the Cyclone Bola weather bomb dropped 1 metre of rain in a week on the North Island resulting in massive erosion. Today there are over 50 schools running the programme (children 8 + years old), 1,500 seeds per... Read more

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Hearings on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) are well underway.   More than 9500 submissions and 3500 further submissions were received on the... Read more

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Here are some links that you may find useful for you to be kept in touch with Auckland Council news.  Read more

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We know that business networking is the lifeline of New Zealand small businesses. It helps them grow and become successful.   BNI can help you here. They are the country’s largest business networking organisation. Our 120 groups around the country... Read more

Is Private Sector Operation of Prisons Working?

“Private sector operation of prisons provides the opportunity for better outcomes in prisoner management and rehabilitation, irrespective of recent issues at Mt Eden prison,” says NZ Council for Infrastructure Development chief executive Stephen Selwood.

 

“Serco and it’s consortium partners’ successful design, construction, financing and management of the new Auckland South Correction Facility at Wiri is an exemplar of the benefits that can flow through to Government departments and agencies,” he says.

 

“The Public Private Partnership is specifically structured to reduce recidivism and improve life opportunities for prisoners,” he says.

 

“The need to reduce recidivism is a critical imperative. Sixty per cent of our prison population are recidivist offenders – among the highest in the developed world.

 

“The Government has set a target of reducing re-offending across the justice system by twenty five per cent by 2017. The Secure Future Consortium is incentivised to reduce the re-imprisonment rate to fifteen per cent below other prisons. 

 

“If we want to improve services then we need private operators working alongside and in partnership with Government agencies and departments.

 

“Providing opportunities for new ways of doing things should always be encouraged,” he adds.

 

“Accountability is also a critical element for any private and public sector operator but it is vital that the private sector is judged by the same criteria as a Government-owned entity, in this case the Department of Corrections,” says Selwood.

 

“Introducing collaborative partnerships where both public and private operators are incentivised to continually improve performance but held to account when things go wrong is the right way to deliver better outcomes for prisoners, their families and society as a whole and represents global best practice in prison management,” Selwood says.

Imported Berries Cause a Hepatitis A Health Scare

The imported frozen berries linked to a Hepatitis A health scare have been identified and recalled, according to a recent New Zealand Herald report.

 

“The company is FSL Foods, and the brand being recalled is Fruzio Mixed Berries sold in 1kg and 500 gram bags. This product contains blackberries and strawberries,” the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said this evening.

 

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Watch out for this brand of berries

If you have this product at home it should be discarded,” said MPI’s Peter Thomson.

“Our investigation is ongoing and, at this stage, our advice concerning all imported frozen berries stays the same,” Mr Thomson added.

 

HAVE YOU EATEN THESE BERRIES RECENTLY? SEND US AN EMAIL
 

FSL owner Mike Glover said he was “devastated” and was in touch with his Chinese berry supplier.

 

CLICK HERE to read more 

Do You Know What Your Kids are Being Taught in School Sex Education Classes?

Family First NZ says that a mother who withdrew her 9-year-old from a sex education classes run by Family Planning should be applauded, and that many more parents would take the same action if they were aware of what is being taught through programmes such as the Sexuality Road programme.

 

“We will be writing to all schools in NZ to warn them about the content and inappropriateness of this programme and other sex eduction programmes being pushed at schools. Family Planning should butt out of schools and should allow and empower parents to educate their own children,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

 

“Most schools along with the parents in the school community will rightly reject the extreme elements of the new sexuality education guidelines just released, and resources should be targeted at parents to help them educate their own children. Primary school children as young as 5 will be indoctrinated with issues around ‘gender stereotypes and norms’ and ‘gender, sexuality and diversity’. But most children that age simply want to play, eat and have fun. We should let children be children.”

 

Issues covered in the Sexuality Road programme for year 8 intermediate students include:

  • True/False test on statements such as ‘Most women when they have their periods bleed for 14 days’, ‘A wet dream only happens if the boy doesn’t go to the toilet before bed’, ‘Vaginal discharges are normal’, ‘It’s normal for males / females to masturbate’, ‘Females can lose tampons in their body if they are not careful’, ‘Erections can occur at any time’, ‘The size of a guy’s penis shows how mature he is’.
  • Clarify that having no sexual contact is safest, but if sexually active, condoms provide the best protection.
  • Periods – pads and tampons, what do to with pads (mixed classes!)
  • Mix ‘N Match Card games with images that link to statements such as ‘Pubic hair grows around genitals’, ‘spontaneous erections’, ‘wet dreams’;
  • Dear Ms Q Questions: “The sexuality teacher told us that girls have a sexual organ called a ‘clitoris’. I’m curious to touch mine, but would that be naughty?”

 

Family Planning have previously suggested better sex education activities such as “Hot Bods”, which has students shading erogenous zones on a human outline and brainstorming elements of a positive sexual experience. At the Family Planning conference in 2013, one of the sessions was Health Promotion and Sexuality Education with the specific topic of “Let’s start at the beginning! Sexuality Education for Year 1-4 students.”

 

“This is effectively 5-8 year old children. Parents should be horrified at the prospect of groups like Family planning undermining the role and values of parents with resources which fail to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of the family,” says Mr McCoskrie.

 

Reports in 2011 revealed that children as young as 12 are being taught about oral sex and told it’s acceptable to play with a girl’s private parts as long as “she’s okay with it”. In other cases, 14-year-old girls are being taught how to put condoms on plastic penises, and one female teacher imitated the noises she made during orgasm to her class of 15-year-olds. A mixed class of boys and girls were asked by the AIDS Foundation if they had masturbated lately and were given condoms and strawberry-flavoured lubricant. They were also given a leaflet featuring graphic pictures, terms including “co*k” and “wa*k”, and advice on the best condoms.

 

“Parents know their children the best and should determine the best timing and most appropriate way to tackle topics such as keeping themselves safe and ‘where do babies come from.” A valueless ‘one size fits all’ approach is far too simplistic and can even be harmful,” says Mr McCoskrie.

 

“Studies show that the biggest protective factors for coping with puberty and sexual involvement are married parents, family values, parental supervision, and parental expectations for behavior. What happens at home is the greatest determinant of the outcomes for the young person.”

 

“Schools have become ‘one-stop shops’ for raising our children and dealing with every social issue. It’s time we empowered parents to fulfill this important role of preparing their own children. Parents can feel overawed by this issue and the need for ‘the sex talk’ so resources should be put into giving them the confidence to educate their children,” says Mr McCoskrie.

 

Family First released a report in 2013 “R18: Sexuality Education in New Zealand – A Critical Review” by US psychiatrist Dr Miriam Grossman which was sent to all school principals and all Board of Trustee Chairpersons of Intermediate and Secondary schools in NZ. Dr Grossman warned that the sex education resources fail to tell the full facts and compromise the concerns and wishes of parents, and the safety of young people.

 

“A premise of modern sex education is that young people have the right to make their own decisions about sexual activity, and no judging is allowed. Risky behaviours are normalised and even celebrated. Children and adolescents are introduced to sexual activities their parents would prefer they not even know about, let alone practice. It’s reasonable to ask: is the ‘comprehensive sexuality education’ foisted on young people all over the world about sexual health, or sexual licence?” says Dr Grossman.

 

“There seems to be a basic and ironic assumption that parents know nothing about sex and that only FPA and teachers do. This is a myth and should be rejected by both parents and politicians who fund these groups,” says Mr McCoskrie.

ENDS

Council Enforcing Compliance with the Building Act

This week, Auckland Council has been highlighting examples of shoddy building practice to show how they are actively monitoring compliance with the Building Act across Auckland.

 

Building Compliance Manager Ian McCormick says builders are given an opportunity to remedy poor work, but they must meet the standards of the building code or the council will not approve the work.

 

“If it doesn’t meet the building code, it doesn’t get our sign off. We are very clear about this with builders and developers.

 

“We’re called to inspect over 3000 construction sites a week. The majority of these are well run and any issues that we detect are minor and easily addressed. We have some outstanding building practitioners in Auckland, however we’re seeing an increasing number of sites that suffer from a lack of effective supervision.

 

“Given the high level of activity at present, we need to ensure developers and builders understand that there is no room for shortcuts, and that we will be actively monitoring their work. Auckland is in a period of high building activity, so it’s more important than ever that we make sure the high standards required by the building code are maintained for the future.

 

“It’s not our intention to identify the sites or developers. But we’re making sure that non-compliant work is remediated prior to any Code of Compliance Certificate being issued. 

“We’re doing this at a range of sites across the region. In all of the cases highlighted in our videos, remedial work is underway and being monitored by our qualified building inspectors.

 

“That means the developers have a chance to put it right, and we can all have more confidence that high building standards are maintained at a time of high building activity.

 

“It’s important to note that the building code addresses how a building should perform structurally over its lifetime, not the quality of finish. This is not something we are empowered to control. Therefore, as in all purchases of services and products, you need to select your designer and builders carefully.”

 

“Auckland Council has, for some time, been concerned about construction standards, and has embarked on a collaborative programme with key industry organisations to improve quality.”

 

Click here to watch a video on this subject 

Labour Day Changes to Auckland Council Services

Some Auckland Council services will change on Labour Day and throughout the following week.

RUBBISH COLLECTIONS

From the week starting Monday 26 October (Labour Day) most council rubbish and recycling collections will run one day later than usual.

Normal collections will resume for everyone on Monday 2 November.

The exceptions are:

  • Thursday night rubbish collections in Parnell and Newmarket
  • CBD rubbish and recycling collections
  • commercial collections in North Shore and Waitākere.

These services will not change.

If you have any questions about rubbish and recycling please call 09 301 01 01.

Residents using private collection services should contact their service providers for holiday collection schedules.

SERVICE CENTRES

All council service centres will close at 5pm on Friday 23 October, and reopen on Tuesday 27 October.

AUCKLAND LIBRARIES

All libraries will be closed on Monday 26 October.

POOLS AND RECREATION CENTRES

Check your facility for details about opening hours at Auckland Leisure or call 09 301 0101.

New Trees for Survival Programme Planned for East Auckland Schools

Trees for Survival is an environmental education programme which involves young people growing and planting native trees to restore natural habitats by helping landowners revegetate erosion prone land, improve stream flow and water quality and increase biodiversity.

 
The Trees for Survival programme creates community partnerships by engaging schools, their community, local businesses and Councils all working together to restore our natural heritage.

 
Auckland Council, in partnership with other community agencies and groups is looking at the possibility of introducing the Trees for Survival programme into a number of new East Auckland Schools as a way of growing trees that will be planted along the Otara River.

 

This Trees for Survival programme could potentially tie in nicely with the proposed clean up of the Otara Lakes.

 

Click here to read about this project.

 
With over 5,000 school students involved and more than 70,000 trees planted each year we have planted more than a million trees in our first 20 years.
Click here to read more about Trees for Survival.

 

They would love you to join them!

East West Transport Connection

The East West transport connection project is a joint project between the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport that is hoped  will transform the way freight moves between SH1 and SH20 around Penrose and Onehunga.

 

Auckland Transport consulted on improvements to public transport as part of the New Network project. The network will provide more frequent services between main town centres (at least 15 minutes between 7am – 7pm).

 

However, some of the routes run along corridors with congestion issues and this hinders the ability to provide reliable services.

 

It was identified that there was significant variability in travel times for buses running along Massey Road – especially in the early afternoon. As a result the route between Māngere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park (future Frequent Network route 32) was identified for improvements.

 

Currently the route from Māngere to Ōtāhuhu and through to Sylvia Park has significant variances in travel time. Between Māngere to Ōtāhuhu the average travel time at 8am is 22 minutes, but congestion and queuing can slow this down to half an hour. Similarly, the route between Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park can take from 17 up to 29 minutes.

 

Congestion on the route also impacts other road users, including freight, and the route lacks cycle lanes, good quality pavements and pedestrian crossings.

 

Auckland Transport days that; “Given the immense contribution the area makes to Auckland’s economy (second only to the city centre), having trucks stuck in gridlock helps no one.

 

The East West transport connection project isn’t just about freight though. Planned right, benefits such as cycling and harbour water quality research could also result.

 

It will be a while before the final details are known but you don’t have to be a business owner to see the benefits.”

 

 Click here to read more about the project.

Auckland's P-Lab Contamination Problem

The manufacture of illegal drugs causing P-Lab contamination, especially methamphetamine, is a serious problem in Auckland.

 

P-Labs, where methamphetamine is manufactured, can become contaminated and pose health risks to occupants.

 

We have a number of statutory obligations to meet once we are aware of a contaminated property.

These include:

  • advising future owners via Land Information Memorandum (LIM)
  • ensuring that any chemical residues present are removed to a safe level.

 


Symptoms of exposure to contamination

Seek immediate medical advice if you suspect that you are living in a former P-Lab property.

The symptoms you experience while staying in a contaminated property
could be due to:

  • level and type of contamination
  • age of the person
  • length of exposure
  • general health of those exposed.

Some common symptoms from exposure are:

  • rashes
  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath.

 


Initial testing

Screening tests can be carried out to check if contamination is present at a property.

You can find companies that carry out testing and remediation in the Yellow Pagesor on the internet.

The Ministry of Health guidelines specify that professionals who assess and test a property must operate independently of commercial decontamination (clean-up) companies.

Property owners should employ contractors who are:

  • qualified
  • equipped
  • experienced to perform hazardous tasks.

Click here to read more … 

Selling Off Council-owned Land

Auckland recently took another step towards unlocking the potential of more than one billion worth of council-owned land under management when Panuku Development Auckland opened its doors on 1 September.

 

Click here to read more about Panuku Development Auckland 

 

Panuku Development Auckland is the result of a merger between council-controlled organisations Auckland Council Property Limited (ACPL) and Waterfront Auckland.

 

It will work with private developers, iwi, non-profit organisations and central government to create residential and commercial development opportunities in urban areas across Auckland, making the most of council land in a way that hasn’t been possible to date.

 

Mayor Len Brown says that selling off under-utilized Council-owned land assets will be a game-changer.

 

“Pulling together the development and community-building abilities of ACPL and Waterfront Auckland will give Auckland a real focus on how it grows,” he says.

 

“Development Auckland will help to use land the council already owns in a more productive way, which will give people a greater choice and higher quality of housing and commercial properties, and over time will transform some urban centres in the way we have seen Auckland’s waterfront transform over the past 10 years.”

 

Development Auckland is a council-controlled organisation. Its first board meeting will be held on 23 September.

 

Click here to read more 

 

Promoting Your Community Event

Auckland Council’s `OurAuckland’ magazine is a good way of promoting your community event.

OurAuckland promotes events from across the Auckland region that are delivered, sponsored, funded, facilitated or supported by Auckland Council, as well as some charity events and free community events when appropriate.

If your event fits the criteria above, you can submit it to the OurAuckland team by following these instructions:

  • Download the OurAuckland events submission form (PDF 347KB).
  • Save the form to your computer.
  • Fill in the form with your event details (it’s a digital PDF that you type into). Make sure you follow the formatting instructions in the form.
  • Save the form again once you’ve completed it. Please save and submit the form with the same name as your event – eg “Island Festival.pdf”.
  • Email ourauckland@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz the completed form.
  • Attach an image (minimum 442 pixels wide for online and high-resolution for print) with your email. Any images you send should be named the same as your event name - eg “Island Festival.jpg” (any additional images should be named “Island Festival_1.jpg”, “Island Festival_2.jpg” and so on). 

Once your event has been uploaded to our website as an online event listing, it can be considered for inclusion in the OurAuckland monthly mini-magazine (see the magazine submission deadlines below) and weekly events e-newsletter (sign up here).

Priority is given to Auckland Council events. The inclusion of your event is at our discretion.

Please email ourauckland@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz if you have any questions or need assistance with the events submission form.  

Event submission deadlines for OurAuckland magazine 

 

OurAuckland
magazine edition
Deadline to submit events to be considered for the magazine   Magazine delivery
Sep 2015  Fri 31 Jul, noon 29-30 Aug 2015
Oct 2015 Fri 28 Aug, 5pm 3-4 Oct 2015
Nov 2015 Mon 28 Sep, noon 27-29 Oct 2015
Dec 2015 / Jan 2016 Fri 30 Oct, noon 28-29 Nov 2015

 

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