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Lockdown Articles

Mayors Memo

03 Sept 2021

jasonKia ora,

Lockdown times are challenging for us all. Here in Kaipara District, bordering Auckland, we are at the hot edge of action. There have been checkpoints stopping some of us going further north and then, following change of Alert Level settings, checkpoints in different locations that stop pretty much all of us going southwards and anyone coming from the south to join us. There has been a frustrating time, particularly for the affected Kaiwaka and Mangawhai people who had significant disruption to normal patterns of where they can travel for essential supplies. It was extra challenging for some people at a time that’s already stressful enough. A key thought is that we all need to be open to disruption and change. The Delta variant of the virus has changed the game from what we understood in 2020.

Since last year I’ve been advocating on behalf of all Kaipara people for consistency in the approach to border checkpoints between Kaipara/Northland and Auckland for when there are different alert levels at the edge. After a particularly disruptive couple of weeks, for now Te Hana checkpoints on SH1 are where it’s at while Auckland and Kaipara/Northland are at different alert levels. Keep watch on covid19.govt.nz website for all the information about what’s going on. Boundaries and expectations may need to shift again and again during this pandemic.

Safe passage through Auckland when it’s at a higher alert level than other parts of New Zealand is also being pushed for by me and other mayors in the north. This is still a work in progress, but we’re keen for Northlanders not to be cut off from the rest of the country. The rules for how businesses can travel through Auckland are on covid19.govt.nz. Again, information will change and we’ll all need to adapt with it. Keep up with that single website as we go.

Three Waters Reform
At the August 25 Kaipara District Council meeting a report about the Government’s Three Waters Reforms was received and discussed by the Council. After 90 minutes of discussion and debate, Kaipara District Council voted unanimously and resolved the following:

That Kaipara District Council:

a) Notes the Three Waters Update report;

b) Regards with uncertainty the current situation of the reforms and the proposed Entity A model, especially noting that Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council have both provisionally opted out of the reforms and Kaipara District Council has not yet considered doing so;

c) Has serious concerns about the negative impacts of the proposed Three Waters Reforms on local democracy, local decision-making by elected representatives and on the mana of Kaipara District Council, Kaipara District and all the citizens of this place;

d) Currently has insufficient information to have confidence in the proposed Three Waters Reforms and what they mean for Kaipara District.

We remain engaged in discussions with Government about what the proposals would mean for Kaipara people. There will be more information ahead, and we will be sharing that with you as it comes. We’re not making any further decisions in this space for now.

In the meantime, this is the season for getting Covid jabs. These are challenging pandemic times and I’m reminded of the old saying “prevention is better than cure”. With that in mind I got my first vaccination jab last week in Dargaville and I urge Kaipara people to “drop their shoulders and lean in”. Let’s keep this virus down and out of Kaipara. Go safely, stay well.

Ngā mihi,

Mayor Jake

Dr Jason Smith, Mayor of Kaipara District.

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