In May the community suffered a tragic loss with the passing of beloved Howick Ward Councillor Dick Quax. His passing left a vacancy on the Auckland Council, prompting a by-election. Nominations closed at noon today. Three candidates came forward to tell the Times that they are standing. Three further names were announced on deadline – Olivia Montgomery, 23, who stood in 2016; Jessica Collings, 21, daughter of Howick Local Board chair David Collings and event promoter Paul Young who also stood for council in 2016.
Voting documents will be posted to eligible voters from Wednesday, August 22, with voting closing at 12 noon on Thursday, September 13.
“I stand for Howick getting a better deal at Auckland Council. I have lived in and worked in the Howick ward for more than 14 years as a journalist/editor of three community newspapers.
My local voluntary roles include serving on the board of Uxbridge Arts and Culture, MC-ing large community events such as Lions in the Park, the Brit and Euro Classic Car Show, Howick Santa Parade, and being a member of the team of not-for-profit community radio East FM. Through these I have developed a deep connection and understanding of our community.
Auckland is rapidly-expanding, an expensive city in need of costly changes and improved infrastructure, and I am concerned about the impact of rising costs on Howick households and businesses.
For too long, Howick rates money has left the area to pay for grand, expensive projects in other parts of the city that have little or no benefit for the local community.
Wise, fair, well-considered and cost-effective decisions are crucial. All urban development should be considered, consulted and notified. When high-rise in residential areas and in-fill housing are strongly opposed, such as in and around Stockade Hill and in residential streets, they should be stopped.
It is my belief that as the city’s biggest ward, Howick deserves greater recognition with increased and appropriate investment.
Transport is a very important issue for Howick and I’m determined to keep driving progress on the quality movement of vehicles and public transport in the Howick ward.
The maintenance of our parks and public green spaces should be of high standard and the issue of safe and clean environment for all is a minimum requirement.
I have and wish to continue to care for all, young and not-so-young who need support from council and not just a lip service.
What I offer is my full and dedicated commitment.
Extensive local and business knowledge to understand the issues, a willingness to listen and “make it happen” attitude. I do so because I care for the Howick Community, and its future. I will be the only candidate who has resigned from my job to show my commitment to you.
Therefore I ask for your vote and support.”
Damian Light (Leader of United Future for a month)
“Earlier this year our community was saddened by the passing of Councillor Dick Quax. He was a champion for east Auckland for many years who will be remembered for his vocal support for his area.
I am standing for Auckland Council to make sure that the people of East Auckland are heard.
Council is undertaking unprecedented investment in the rest of Auckland and I’ll ensure we are no longer left behind.
For too long we’ve put up with shoddy park maintenance, growing traffic congestion and illegal dumping of rubbish while our rates rise.
As a local, I see and hear the frustration and want to use my skills and experience to turn this around.
I will be a councillor that is visible and accessible in the community, understanding the issues and ensuring that council takes action.
As a true independent, I will work across political lines to deliver for east Auckland.
I will hold council to account, challenge reckless spending and ensure we get our fair share of funding. This includes delivering on transport, safe-guarding against flooding and erosion and making every beach swimmable.
With over a decade in business improvement experience, I know how to lift performance and end waste.
I will protect our neighbourhoods and heritage, stop sell-offs of our parks and put the people of east Auckland first.”
Howick Local Board member Jim Donald is standing for Auckland Council in the by-election.
He has valuable experience working in the community having been in the New Zealand Police for 21 years and a Manukau City Councillor for six years before joining the Local Board.
Over the years he has become concerned about Howick community assets not being utilised and community projects not being finished on time, leaving residents unable to utilise key community facilities.
He says delays with the Half Moon Bay pontoon replacements and the HMB bus turnaround are just a few of many issues which have frustrated locals.
He says the people of the Howick ward are passionate about their community and are willing to pay to use community facilities, and they deserve to have beautiful neighbourhoods to enjoy.
Donald says Local Government should be capitalising on the ‘passion and enthusiasm’ people have for their community by prioritising improvements that are important to residents, but says instead, Auckland Council administration has become too big and is not connecting with its people.
If he were to be elected a Howick Ward Councillor, he plans to nurture a greater connection between Auckland Council’s Governing Body and the people of the Howick Ward. Recently he has been focussing on cleaning up the culverts at Macleans Park with the help of residents and says this project has encouraged council to co-operate with the passion and enthusiasm people have for their community.
He says he is also focussed on promoting public transport, particularly ferry services.