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Source: Auckland Council

Forty haircuts a day, five-and-a-half days each week, 50 weeks a year, 50 years in business is 550,000.

Barber and Manurewa Local Board member Ken Penney is off to a head start when it comes to consultation.

“I’ve had a lot of people in my chair over the years and they don’t hesitate to tell me where the board is going wrong, or what they think we should be doing,” he says.

“It’s terrific feedback and it helps me stay in touch, but it is informal, and now I need people to provide formal feedback on the Manurewa Local Board Plan.

“I will have been in business for half a century come November and I’m into my 10th year on the board and I don’t think there has ever been a more important consultation as we recover from COVID-19.

“There are going to be challenges as we try to balance what we know is important to residents, with what we have to spend.”

Board chair Joseph Allan, who will be available on Fridays at the board’s Mill Road office between 2-4pm for anyone to drop-in and make a submission, says the plan already incorporates feedback from earlier in the year.

Its six outcomes are:

  • Our communities are inclusive, vibrant, healthy and connected
  • we are proud of our strong Māori identity and thriving Māori community
  • our people enjoy a choice of quality community spaces and use them often
  • our safe and accessible transport network meets community needs
  • our prosperous local economy supports local people
  • our natural environment is valued, protected and enhanced.

Consultation is open until 13 August. You can make a formal submission using Auckland Council’s Have Your Say page here, and at the board’s Facebook page here, where you must use the hashtag #lovelocal for your submission to be recorded.

There are copies of the plan online here, and at your library, where submission forms can also be accessed.

“It probably should, but my barber’s chair doesn’t count,” Ken says.

“Get online or make a written submission. Don’t be a keyboard warrior after the event. People are always welcome to tell me what they think, but you can only make a real difference by submitting.”