Members of the new Howick Local Board have been sworn in and they’ve chosen two fresh faces to lead them for the next three years.
The board met officially in person for the first time at its inauguration held at Uxbridge Arts and Culture Centre in Howick on Monday night.
It drew an audience of about 100 people including Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown and Howick ward councillors Sharon Stewart and Maurice Williamson.
The meeting was initially chaired by the board’s local area manager Victoria Villaraza.
After being sworn in the board was asked to choose its chairperson and deputy.
Board newcomer Damian Light and David Collings, a previous chair, were both nominated for the role.
They were given the chance to address their colleagues.
Light said as the newest member of the board he would bring a unique perspective to the role.
“I’ve got lots of skills and experience in this space, of governance and community,” he said.
“I’m quite familiar with council process and I think I would serve well as the chairperson.
“I’ve enjoyed working with you as an external member of the public.
“I think I bring a lot of skills and experience to the board that would be good in the chairperson’s role.”
Collings said he had nothing against Light and he welcomed him to the board.
He said with a new mayor there were going to be many changes and whoever was elected as chair “is really going to have to go into bat for us in the Auckland region”.
“I think anybody could lead the board and be chair and deputy … guide us through the meetings, provide leadership throughout the term and keep us on the right path and achieving things and working together.”
Collings pointed to achievements the board made in previous terms when he was chair, his positive relationships with the two local ward councillors, and other members of the council’s governing body.
At one point he asked if he could seek leave to allow Stewart and Williamson the chance to speak on the subject.
A person in the room responded that such a move would be out of order, to which Collings said it was up to the meeting’s chairperson to determine if it was or not.
Stewart said she and Williamson did not want to speak on the subject.
A vote was eventually held, with Light receiving support from board members Bo Burns, John Spiller, Mike Turinsky, Adele White and Peter Young.
Collings received support from board members Katrina Bungard and Bruce Kendall.
Light was named the board’s new chairperson by six votes to three.
The board then voted to appoint a new deputy chair.
Burns was nominated for the role and won support from Light, Spiller, White and Young.
The other nominee for the deputy chair role, board member Bruce Kendall, received support from Bungard, Collings and Turinsky.
Burns was named the board’s new deputy chair by five votes to four.
The board’s first business meeting will be held in late November at its meeting room at the Pakuranga Library complex.