5 Sept, 2022
A recent council candidates meeting was made possible thanks to a mix of concerned locals and members of social advocate group Unity in Community.
Meeting facilitator, Rosemary Poolman, who is not directly connected with Unity, says after the Mangawhai Business Association postponed the event, the new team stepped up to organise the gathering.
“We care about democracy, Kiwis are facing a lot of challenges and it’s important to come together and keep our community spirits up,” she says. “As an ever-expanding community, we’d like to see the people united, it’s important to pull together and keep a strong sense of connection and support, and work together to make a better future for our children. The meeting was for the community by the community, by mothers and local business owners at a grassroots level.”
The brainchild of resident artist Christine Moginie, Unity in Community is comprised of a wide range of local individuals, businesses, families and friendship groups with a common aim of standing for uniting not only the Mangawhai community but Kaipara as a whole, she says.
“We all act as individuals living in this amazing community and are not aligned with any party, political, or private company. Unity members supported Rosemary in organising the event at Fagan Place Hall as part of the group’s focus for Mangawhai and Kaiwaka.”
Unity was born in November 2021 after an enquiry Christine posted on several social media sites regarding the effects of Covid restrictions on the community received over 800 responses in under two hours.
“I put up a post to see if others supported keeping local businesses and services in our Kaipara community unified and open as best we could, in the face of government mandated lockdowns, border controls, mask wearing, vax passes and having no face-to-face medical appointments,” she says. “Many vital small local businesses faced having to close down, or move to online delivery options at great cost to themselves. Then teachers, nurses, midwives and others lost their jobs, and incomes, houses and livelihoods were threatened. People were caught up in a difficult dilemma, divided and fearful.”
Christine says the post also attracted a positive response from Waipu, Warkworth, and Wellsford locals, who wanted to show their support of ‘uniting the community in our little town of Mangawhai’.
“The organisation flowed easily from there, with a turnout for the Human Chain gathering on December 5 which brought over 600 people of all ages together, in a show of support for those in our community who were feeling separated, divided and stressed from the effects of the Covid pandemic.”
“People were caught up in a difficult dilemma, divided and fearful.”
– Christine Moginie