Dear Neighbourhood Support Friends
When I lived in the Netherlands for six years, Christmas was a peaceful time where we spent the Christmas days with family and friends. (Presents are given out at Sinter Klaas on the 25th
December when the good Saint Nicholaas and his trusty helpers visit all boys and girls.) After New Year it was straight back to work and school and the year began.
It took me a while to figure out why I found Christmas such a stressful time in the Southern Hemisphere and it suddenly dawned on me…we are hit with a triple whammy of end of year. Work close outs, and preparations leading into Christmas and New Year celebrations. This is also hitched to the wagon and expense of the summer holidays and to finish it all off we have to prepare for back to school and all that that entails. Read more of Chairperson Ayleen de Vilder’s article on Christmas
Santa Parade from a
Here’s thought for you. Why don’t you and your family join the Neighbourhood Support Committee in the Howick Santa Parade and walk along with us to show you support the community. You get to see a totally different view of the parade, one that most people don’t see. The parade meets in Fencible Drive 30 mins before the 11am start time. We look forward to having you join us at 10:30am Saturday 30th November
. If you are joining us, please read these safety rules
Focus on Summer Safety
The Neighbourhood Support Committee and team members are keen for everyone to have a safe and memorable Christmas break. Something often overlooked is the danger posed by long grass along our fence lines and on parts of our sections. As it dries out it poses a significant fire hazard and something as simple as a piece of broken glass hidden in the grass can be enough to cause a fire with disastrous consequences for your family and maybe your neighbours. So read this article about securing your property
before leaving home.
The new child restraint rule came into play on 1 November 2013. The new law reads that a child must be in an approved child restraint (booster seat) until their 7th birthday. From their 7th to 8th birthday they must be in an approved child restraint (booster seat) if there is one in the vehicle. In other words if there is no child restraint in the vehicle then they do not have to be in one, but if there is an empty child seat then the child must be in it. Go to www.nzta.govt.nz/childrestraints
for more info.
Metlife Village joins
We are delighted to hear that the residents of the Metlife Village in Highland Park are meeting on December the 3rd to discuss setting up a Neighbourhood Support Group. We are looking forward to having them join the Bucklands Beach and Pakuranga organisation.
Operation Safer Plates
Too many residents are having their number plates stolen and Community Patrols New Zealand
are supporting this Police initiative. Take your car to Countdown at Pakuranga Plaza on December 10th
and the team will use special screws to fix the number plates to your car so that it cannot be quickly or easily removed by unauthorised persons. What are the stolen plates used for? Ask the local petrol stations. They will tell you all about the number of cars with stolen plates filling up and then departing rapidly without paying.
Community Constables Comment
In this issue:
Report suspicious behaviour
Elderly owner uses the ‘find my Ipad’ app to find who stole his phone.
Ring 111 first, let them decide if your call is important
Trespassing – What you can and cannot do
Time on their hands
Click here to read the articles
Hot spots in Oct and Nov 2013
Here is a link to the latest statistics on burglaries (109) in the Eastern Suburbs. See where the 'hotspots' are and if there are any in your locality. Maybe it would be prudent to start a Neighbourhood Support Group to try and reduce the incidents? Click here to read the list.
Howick Local Board Newsletter
The newly elected Howick Local Board has been sworn into office.
David Collings (pictured)
was selected as the Chair and Adele White
as Deputy Chair. The board also welcomes newly elected Garry Boles
, Bill Wichman
and Katrina Bungard
, as well as re-elected members Steve Udy
, John Spiller
, Jim Donald
and Lucy Schwaner
. More information here
Finding emergency phone numbers
Where do you go when you want to find an emergency phone number, or to contact the Council? Try our redesigned website. There is a wealth of information listed there and best of all, it’s a one stop shop for ‘Emergency’ phone numbers. We would like to thank volunteer Jason Isaacs from Burswood who redesigned the Neighbourhood Support Website which went live today. Check it out here
. Go to “Key Contacts” for a list of 31 numbers that you are likely to be in a hurry when you need them.
Neighbourhood Support Pakuranga/Bucklands Beach Inc would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Sue Christie (street contact Half Moon Bay) who came aboard the committee to help us out for almost a year. Sue is a chartered accountant and she used her skills to take us from incorporation level to that of being a registered charity. This means that we can safely and legally receive donations but can now also give out receipts for tax returns. Sue has done a great job in helping steer our finances in the right direction. Thank you Sue and just remember…we know where you live!
If you have any skills that you think might be of use to us… that means they are and they will be! Jump on board, just like Sue, and stay as long as you like. You can email me (Ayleen de Vilder) at email@example.com
to volunteer and get involved!
Did you know….
Here are a few items picked up by our representative who attended the recent Auckland City Council forum for volunteer/charitable organisations.
The Magic Number and Address
The Council has a customer service phone number and email address.
Phone: 09 301 0101 - it has access to several different language speakers.
Contact them for the following:
· Booking events on parks and reserves
· Seeking information about Council services
· Making complaints about footpaths, roads, accounts, lighting etc.
.. remember the call number you receive. Without this number you are in difficulty if you need to make a follow up call because you will have to start all over again.
There are 11 different Auckland City Council funding grants available to community groups. But note this:
The local community board has to approve any grants, so make sure you keep them well informed about your organisation and its plans, and seek their support before you apply for a grant. Watch out for a workshop to be held in February 2014. Remember that applications for grants close on 28th
Feb and 31st
Aug each year. See the list of grants available
The Council has an ‘Events’ team who smooth the way for groups wanting to book parks for activities and events. Ring 09 3010101 and ask for ‘Events’. They advise you, check your plans, liaise with other Council Depts and generally try to make any ‘issues’ go away.
The Council is a strong supporter of Neighbours Day which is being held on March 29th
2014. See this web site
for details, or contact Rosetta.RetiSimanu@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
for more information about how you can get a Neighbours Day activity started in your community. How about joining forces with your neighbouring group and jointly book a nearby reserve for a picnic lunch? Keep it simple. An email to firstname.lastname@example.org
will give you the contact you need.
A full list of Council Services
Click here to view a list
of Council Community Services. It may surprise you what they have to deal with and what they are responsible for.
This document lists what each Council team is responsible for. Page 1
and Page 2
And finally, do have a great and safe break this Christmas and look out for your friends and neighbours. All the best from the Neighbourhood Support Team.