Peter Young is an enthusiastic and committed member of the Howick Local Board for the last six years. He is also chairman of the Botany & Flat Bush Ethnic Association that he founded to realise his vision of a ‘happy and healthy community’ – both roles fulfilling his ardent desire to work for the better in the community.
Now standing for re-election to the Howick Local Board Botany subdivision, Young outlines his goals and vision for the ward.
Q. You are very passionate about the Botany & Flat Bush Association that has grown rapidly. What made you start the organisation?
My vision has been to see happy and healthy communities working together. Considering the fact that our multicultural population is 30 per cent Chinese, 30 per cent Indian, and 40 per cent the remainder of all the other ethnicities—it is important to have good communication. The association has been going for over four and a half years and has grown quickly helped by my experience as past president of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist
Temple, my work as a Justice of the Peace (JP) and being a Rotarian. I also have good connections with the business community as well as social and public services which helps in finding qualified trainers for the association’s programmes.
Q. What activities does the association host?
The activities are fitness and health related, offering great opportunities for the wellbeing of the community. We have yoga and meditation classes at Ormiston Primary, Botany Library and at Golflands Reserve on weekends. Community talks by experts twice a week.
Then there is Tai Chi, Zumba and Cantonese Opera classes as well as activities for the youth like basketball. We have organized multiple cultural events as a prelude to Howick’s 175th Anniversary celebrations and have more in the pipeline.
We will be kickstarting a Community Gardening Club and host multicultural events like the Moon Festival and Diwali Festival. Everyone is invited.
Q. What other issues are important to you for Botany?
I will continue to advocate for the long overdue Flat Bush Community Centre and Library. I’d also like to see facilities like table-tennis and badminton in the area.
More importantly, with the sharp increase in thefts and burglaries we must have CCTV cameras in areas where break-ins are high. I’d like to see more CCTVs around Botany for public safety. It is good to know that locals can now connect with the police through the newly introduced high-tech system. I also encourage neighbours to get to know each other, to be on the lookout for suspicious activity, so communities and the police can work together to prevent crime.
I would like Auckland Council and the police to work together to identify places where we can have more pedestrian crossings to schools. We have many new schools in new neighbourhoods, and with an increasing population, we must ensure their safely.
Q. Over the past three years what local accomplishments have pleased you?
I am extremely pleased about the high standard of our public parks, reserves and walking trails. People have told me how much they are enjoying developments such as new toilets, changing rooms, lighting, shelters, planting, playing fields and car parks in Barry Curtis Park.
I am also pleased about the library expansion at Botany Town Centre. Being able to increase its services and activities is very good for the community. The yearly inorganic collection is another great service which households appreciate, and I want to see this continued. Bringing the community together each week via the Botany & Flat Bush Ethnic Association is another proud achievement.
Q. What drives you to take on community leadership roles?
I want to see our community prosper. We have a wonderful place to live so I want to continue to see people happy. That makes me happy. I am proud to be the Howick Local Board ethnic community’s portfolio leader. We gather leaders from many diverse groups to foster better understanding of our different needs and our vision for the future.
Keeping our community safe and a place where people love to live is why I am again standing for election to the Howick Local Board in the Botany subdivision.