In a first for the Puketapapa local board in Mt Roskill area, a new Business Association – with a vision to promote strong economic outcomes supporting local businesses – was launched on Sunday, July 4, at Fickling Convention Centre.
The event witnessed presence of dignitaries including Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff, Minister of Transport and Local MP for Mt Roskill Michael Wood, former National Party MP, Kanwaljit Bakshi, and Chairperson of Puketapapa Local board, Julie Fairey, who came together in support of the association.
Ella Kumar, one of the local Puketapapa local board member – who was behind this initiative – told the Indian Weekender that local businesses needed a strong voice in the current difficult times of Covid-19.
Speaking with the Indian Weekender, Kumar said, “More than 5000 small local businesses have come under the Puketapapa Business Association umbrella to thrive together.
“The Association is aiming to establish a unified voice to determine the issues facing the local businesses and to establish a core working group to support its members,” Kumar said.
Mayor Phil Goff spoke on the occasion revisiting his long association with Mt Roskill area – an electorate that he has represented in parliament for around three decades.
“Big part of my heart is in Mt Roskill, it’s an area that I love, and it’s been changing so much,” Goff said.
Referring to the pandemic, Goff said, “How lucky we are in the country, we have the leadership, and we have the collective effort by New Zealanders to keep the covid -19 community spread at bay”.
Goff also said that NZ transport would introduce Light Rail in Auckland as it is the need due to the population and bus congestion.
He also urged everyone to come in support of the new association and help local businesses based at the heart of Puketapapa.
Minister of Transport Michael Wood reflected on the challenges of the struggling business community.
“It’s been a challenging 18 months, we have never been through a pandemic like Covid -19, but the resilience across the business community and the people have worked incredibly well to support each other,” Wood said.
Minister Wood also shared the government’s focus on the future saying that a “huge change is underway”.
“10,000 new houses are going to be built in 10 to15 years not in just Mt Roskill but also across the community which will provide many opportunities on social and economic level,” Wood said.
The Chairman of Puketapapa local board Julie Fairey avowed the association for coming up with idea of businesses providing with the ‘unified voice’ as the timing could not have been better.
In the end Ella Kumar urged everyone for the support as the association is in a “kindergarten stage and are ‘young’, needs to be nurtured and supported in different levels with the help of Auckland Association, Local Board, businesses and community.