C&R reveals team for Botany subdivision

Nivedita Sharma Vij, Bob Wichman and Peter Young are standing as Communities and Residents candidates for the Botany subdivision at this year’s Auckland Local elections. Photo supplied.

It is an interesting mix that represents diverse communities in Botany subdivision for the upcoming Auckland Local  Elections on October 8.

Current Howick Local Board members Bob Wichman and Peter Young will stand as Communities and Residents (C&R) candidates for the Botany subdivision at this year’s Auckland local elections. They are joined by new candidate and strong community advocate Nivedita Sharma Vij.

Sharma Vij is a Botany local with 24 years experience as a NZ registered health professional. As a clinical health coach lead at Counties Manukau Health, Vij says she brings proven experience in senior management, customer service and delivering on community expectations.

She is a Justice of the Peace, deputy chair of Manukau East Council of Social Services, Botany and Flat Bush Ethnic Association and Indian Kiwi Positive Ageing Group, and founder and co-chair of Muskaan Care Trust. As a local board member, Sharma Vij says she will ensure the voices of Botany’s vibrant communities are included in decision making, as well as champion the preservation of Botany’s unique environment.

Wichman has been a Board member for six years and says he offers a wealth of experience in governance and local body politics. His public sector background includes being a Manukau City Councillor for 17 years and economic development and corporate government committee chairman.

Wichman says he will continue to be a strong voice for the residents of Botany and will foster stronger communities, celebrate diversity and ensure smart spending of ratepayer money. Wichman has lived and worked in Botany with his wife Dianne for 15 years and says he is committed to shaping Botany into an accessible, safe and sustainable community.

Young is a current board member, a Justice of the Peace and a dedicated local voice. He founded the Botany and Flat Bush Ethnic Association and was president of the local Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple.

Young, who has been getting communities together running a host of fitness classes and talks on well-being for the last year-and-a-half, says he stands for happy and healthy communities. He has dedicated the past 20 years supporting local residents and organisations and says he will continue to provide Botany with public leadership that’s based on listening to the community and delivering projects and results, including the new Ormiston Town Centre. Young is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Auckland Communities and Residents Incorporated, known as Communities and Residents, is a right leaning local body ticket in Auckland. It was formed in 1938 as Citizens and Ratepayers. It changed its name Communities and Residents in 2012.