One of the most frequent and challenging questions asked is why should any business belong to a voluntary association such as GLBA?
However, if you really think about it, businesses are clearly impacted by what’s going on in the community and it really doesn’t matter where you live. Just ask the businesses that are now being impacted by the new Residents Parking Zone (RPZ) in the Grey Lynn District. This RPZ was imposed after extensive consultation. However, we have found that consultation was very much a single edged knife - in other words it just cuts one way. Even though the local government agencies tried their best to accommodate business concerns they are hamstrung by what’s gone on before. In other words, solutions developed for residential zones with excellent public transport are imposed on areas with minimal public transport options.
With change, there are inevitable unintended consequences. In this instance GLBA advised the council that the flow-on impact to the rest of Grey Lynn would be significant. Streets previously not congested would become so, and that redefining the RPZ may be a better solution than proceeding with a third of Grey Lynn RPZ and the rest not. It’s not that the agencies didn’t have sympathy for the problems now evident, it’s just that they are hamstrung by the very concept of 'consultation'.
As residential parking zoning moves outward from the inner city, there needs to be much greater thought as to what, how, why and when to consult on such matters - this is where business associations have a pivotal role.
The RPZ is a particular example where the community - businesses and local residents - must work together. If we don’t, we’ll end up with solutions that force business away from the city fringe and make it so much harder for communities to access services. To my mind, businesses no matter how large or small cannot effectively take up the challenge of interacting with the community constructively on their own or in isolation. When they do there are inevitable accusations of 'feathering one’s own nest'; working together brings diversity of view and better quality outcomes for all.
Taking opportunities to work collaboratively together builds better communities and thus better business in Grey Lynn. The first of these is for businesses in post code 1021 to join the GLBA.
Visit www.glba.co.nz and become part of the Grey Lynn project. Further, a number of ideas that emerged from the strategic visioning work of First Retail New Zealand and our very successful Beer, Burgers and Brioche evening are starting to crystallise. These include:
• beautification and urban-scaping of the various villages within the Grey Lynn business districts;
• working with the New Zealand Police to enhance and improve the safety of our employees and security in general in district 1021;
• working on an events promotional billboard for the Grey Lynn district; and
• becoming part of the whole Art Week concept.
There are also exciting developments within the Waitemata Board as they, along with ATEED, work on an inner-city fringe strategy to promote Grey Lynn and what we have to offer.
To do this we are looking for an individual to join our team on a paid part-time capacity of up to eight hours a week and become our Communication-Marketing Coordinator. We want someone who absolutely loves Grey Lynn and can help us become a world leader in urbanism, with a focus on growing innovative businesses, environmental responsibility, conscious consumers and directional design. If you think you fit this role we invite you to express an interest with your cv to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Irene King and Paul Stephenson, Joint Co-Chair GLBA)