Peninsula progress pleases retiring leader

Irene Scurr, who is retiring after nine years as chairwoman of the Otago Peninsula Community...
Irene Scurr, who is retiring after nine years as chairwoman of the Otago Peninsula Community Board, on her Dunedin property this week. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
A need to cut her community commitments means Irene Scurr will not be a candidate for the Otago Peninsula Community Board at the upcoming election.

After nine years as the board's chairwoman, she will leave the role to focus on her farm.

However, she will stay on as chairwoman of the Otago Peninsula Trust and the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group.

"I will miss the opportunity to work with some really positive people but I will still be working with the peninsula and the areas that I enjoy," she said.

The community board was inducted in 2002 after a long battle with the Dunedin City Council to have the individual needs of the peninsula community recognised.

"I think the community board's a wonderful asset and the wider community has to use it to its full potential, because it can listen to, and hear, the concerns of the local community," Ms Scurr said.

One of the "best things" to happen during her time on the board was the Dunedin City Council's purchase of prominent hill Harbour Cone, which was "an asset for the whole city."

The land purchase, the vision for a pest-free peninsula and creation of more walking tracks were community board initiatives she was proud of.

The safety improvements to Portobello and Harington Point Rds, improved public amenities, viewing platforms installed in the area and better signage and information for visitors were other improvements she welcomed.

"I have opportunities that are taking my time, and I just seem to have too many things happening at once. I just need to cut back a bit."

Ms Scurr hoped the community would continue to take pride in, and respect, the area so everyone could enjoy the peninsula.

"I think the people who live on the peninsula make a choice to come out here and they enjoy the environment here. If we can encourage more people to get involved in what's happening out here, we will improve the value of the whole peninsula for tourists, and for those living here."


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