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Source: Auckland Council

Being one of the largest local board areas in Auckland has its challenges for Franklin.

The city’s southernmost board goes from Waiuku and the Awhitu Peninsula on the west coast to Orere Point and Whitford in the east.

But it is not only size that sets Franklin apart.

“We have large areas of productive land in agriculture and horticulture and many small rural communities, but we also have fast-growing urban areas like Pukekohe and Beachlands, and future urban zones like Drury,” board chair Andy Baker says.

“That is changing our communities and makes satisfying residents difficult because what can be a priority in one area might not even make the radar in another.

“If you live in an emerging community like Beachlands you are probably going to have a different set of priorities than someone who lives at Pollok or Waiuku.”

That makes hearing from as many people as possible when the board formulates its three-year plans critical.

“Urban boards like Waitematā can be geographically compact built-up city environments. Life is relatively similar everywhere, but it’s not like that in Franklin where we have many unique, separate areas, villages and towns, all with their individual needs.”

Baker says that means despite how widely the board consults, it can’t reach everyone.

“That’s where our online page is so important. It allows people to share their ideas and that ensures their voice is heard.”

The board is holding a drop-in session at the Clevedon District Centre on 14 March from 11am-1pm that allows locals to hear about the proposed Hūnua Trail and give feedback on Council Controlled Organisations and Auckland Council’s Annual Budget.

“Board decisions are often about balancing priorities. If we only hear from one area, that can lead to poor decisions,” Baker says.

“I’d urge as many people as possible to get online and tell us what’s important. We want to know so we can make good decisions, not hear later that we’ve got it wrong.”

You can share your ideas here.