One only needs to look at what is going on elsewhere in the world to be immediately thankful that we live in Auckland and benefit from many of the great qualities it has to offer. We should not be complacent though, as change is always occurring, and we need to be prepared for what the future might bring so that we don't lose what we value about our home city. Everyone from elected officials, to regular citizens, and those of all ages and backgrounds need to take the time to hear out the perspectives of others and work through their disagreements with as little acrimony as possible. Whether it is between council and the public, or different groups of citizens, it can only benefit us to do away with 'us versus them' attitudes.
I want to see our city be a place where citizens and visitors can feel safe and empowered to wander our city parks and streets at all times of the day and night without fear of harm. I want to see shop owners, our community workers, and indeed all our people to feel free of the threat of violence, physical especially, but mental as well. I hope to see people able to put their faith and trust in their fellow citizens that serve them as staff at the Council, and those staff empowered to engage more proactively and positively with their communities.
While I do not want people to be afraid of our environment, we need to remain prepared to deal with crises as they emerge. Our region is subject to many natural and man-made hazards, and I fully support not only a robust and well-prepared civil defence operation capability at Auckland Council, but a strong network of all the emergency services, lifelines utilities, and community support groups that underpin the ability of us to come together and overcome any challenges that are thrown at us.