Final mayoral debate delves into Auckland sport and recreation issues

07 Oct, 2016
 
Six contenders for Auckland Mayor gathered at AUT North Campus last night for the final mayoral debate of the election campaign.

Six contenders for Auckland Mayor gathered at AUT North Campus on Tuesday 4 October 2016 for the final mayoral debate of the election campaign. The debate focused on sport and recreation, and was hosted by Aktive Auckland and AUT.

Professor Mark Orams, Head of AUT’s School of Sport & Recreation, opened the event by thanking the candidates for standing for office. “Standing for mayor is a demanding task and we should be grateful to all candidates who put themselves forward. It’s an important part of the democratic process.”

Candidates gave insights into their sport and recreation policies, and the role they believe these strategies can play in contributing to Auckland becoming the world’s most liveable city.

On the list of sport and recreation priorities for many candidates were topics such as the growing rate of obesity in children, the impact of urban sprawl on declining levels of physical activity, and how the city would continue to maintain and develop sport and recreation infrastructure. All-round support was voiced for Auckland Council’s existing Sport and Recreation Strategic Action Plan.

Candidates also debated the management of population growth, and the impact inevitable expansion will have on sport and recreation opportunities.

“Some candidates are embracing growth and intensification, while others expressed the view that we can’t continue to grow without considering the impact on lifestyle,” says Professor Orams.

Professor Orams sees this as an important issue. “Population growth will have a massive impact on the ability of Aucklanders to access open space. This directly impacts our recreation opportunities, and will ultimately affect our lifestyles and our health.”

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