Paul Young has won the Howick By-election to become Auckland Council’s first Asian councillor.
He came to New Zealand around 30 years ago and settled in Howick where he and his wife Rosana raised two children while he established a marketing, concert promotion and photographic business in Somerville.
Some 26.4 per cent of eligible voters voted. Young won with 7624 votes ahead of Howick Local board member Jim Donald with 5826 votes.
Mr Young says he is a proud Asian Kiwi who will not be focussing on any particular group but will work for all Aucklanders.
“Being councillor is a huge responsibility and it’s serious business. Everyone is asking me how I am going to celebrate and I say there is no time to waste. I need to learn a lot of things and catch up so that I can action things.”
“This is the sixth time I have stood for elections and every time I worked really hard and expected to win, and this time I did,” he says as he is flooded with calls from Auckland Council and other well-wishers.
At the last election when two councillors were elected for Howick, Young came third behind the late Dick Quax and is now making a determined effort to fulfil a long-held ambition to represent the area and take the simple message to “City Hall” that the people of east Auckland should be able to travel easily between where they live, work, shop and play.
Young told the Times in the run-up to the by-election that sensible travel means shuttle buses to take people from their own streets to bus or railway station transport hubs, so encouraging people to use public transport.
And as for cost, the shuttles should be free which Mr Young argues would be cheaper than building more roads and car parks.
On his other priority of improving law and order, he said he believes in a strong police presence in the community.
“We need to know that when we need them, the police will be there.”
He also wants great transparency of council business.
Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga, has this afternoon congratulated Young on his by-election victory that will see him take up the role of Auckland Councillor for the Howick Ward, alongside current Councillor Sharon Stewart.
“I want to congratulate Paul on a great result and a fantastic, clean campaign and I know he’s keen to get stuck into his new role,” says Brown.
“Paul brings with him a wealth of local knowledge having lived and worked here for many years and will become Auckland’s first Councillor of Chinese descent. He’s well aware of the issues our community is concerned about, and I have every confidence he will work hard to address them.”
“This wasn’t a by-election we wanted, and I would like to take this opportunity to again acknowledge and thank Dick Quax for his years of service to the community. His presence will be sorely missed, and Paul has got big shoes to fill as he tackles the job of holding Council to account on our behalf.”
“I look forward to working closely with Paul as I have with Sharon and the Howick Local Board to ensure we are ably representing our constituents at all levels of government.”
“Congratulations again Paul – I know you’ll be a great advocate for the Howick Ward.”
Results of Howick Ward by-election
Following the Howick Ward by-election, Paul Young (Independent) has been provisionally elected as a Howick Ward councillor.
Progress results are: (listed in numerical order by votes)
- YOUNG, Paul (Independent), 7624 votes
- DONALD, Jim, 5826 votes
- TAYLOR, Phil (Independent), 5600 votes
- LIGHT, Damian (Putting East Auckland First), 5500 votes
- COLLINGS, Jessica Rose (Independent), 1786 votes
- MONTGOMERY, Olivia (Independent), 1671 votes
The final results including the votes hand-delivered today will be published later today. The official results will be declared by public notice on Wednesday 19 September. Mr Young will be sworn in at the next Governing Body meeting on 27 September 2018.