Alannah Woolford - Waitakere College

What Makes West Auckland Great?

West Auckland is an alluring and charismatic place to live. Not only for our stunning black sand beaches, which is a perfect sanctuary in summer time, but also for the warm and welcoming feel that West Auckland radiates.

Two years ago, to help raise money for a school trip to Japan, my brother stood outside our local dairy with a box of chocolates every day for six months. Something we saw very quickly was that people were friendly and very generous as well. On numerous occasions people would buy him the chocolate bar instead of taking it for themselves, some even donating money to help my brother achieve his goal. This encouragement and support from our West Auckland whanau was a huge factor in my brother’s success of reaching the amount of money needed to go on this amazing trip.

In my experience, West Auckland people are by nature caring and supportive. They are there to lend each other a hand; whether that is to help a young boy enjoy the trip of a lifetime or rallying around when someone is in need. When one of our neighbours needed money to help fund his cancer treatment, a local school offered up their premises to hold the fundraiser, the community donated goods and hundreds turned up to support and donate. This is what makes West Auckland special.

These same values are shown in our community facilities too. The West Auckland pool, West Wave has a huge impact encouraging children to get active, whilst having fun. They open the pools free of charge to children under the age of 16 every day of the week. This provides a safe environment in which to play and a place to start to learn a very important skill. It also helps local families that are struggling and gives them the opportunity to take their family out and enjoy a good time together.

Here in West Auckland we are well known for our Waitakere Ranges. I really enjoy taking walks in the ranges with my grandparents and learning about all the different trees and wildlife. It is also a nice quiet place to relax, de-stress and wind down. This phenomenal landmark is definitely one of the bonuses of living in West Auckland.

West Auckland really has much of the beauty our country has to offer in one small area with the added bonus of having all the amenities that the community needs – a public hospital, large shopping centres, local businesses and excellent public transport.

Redevelopment also shows that it has the community in mind. A fine example of this is the New Lynn upgrade. Local residents were in the forefront of the planning. The result is that new apartments were built with health centres, library and the shopping mall all surrounding the upgraded public transport system to ensure that people can easily get to where they want to go.

But for me, it is the amazing people that I encounter every day that makes West Auckland just the very best.

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