Howick Local Board’s new chairperson Adele White has hit the ground running! White writes about her first month in the big chair of the Howick Local Board and what she hopes to achieve.
Within hours of my election at the Board’s Inauguration ceremony on November 4 I was leading a Citizenship Ceremony for 317 new New Zealanders at Manukau’s Vodafone Centre.
I feel proud and excited about my new role.
Eighteen years in local government and 33 years as a Police Officer in the area I grew up in has prepared me well. Both these roles involved relationship-building, planning, troubleshooting and leadership – all of which are a huge part of being Local Board chairperson.
My first day in the chair’s chair at the Howick Local Board office in Pakuranga was spent reading an influx of emails. There was a fleeting moment when I asked myself if I had made the right decision, but that quickly passed!
Amid invitations to attend events and letters from residents following up on issues, were emails sending words of congratulations and encouragement.
I must acknowledge the support I have received from the wider community and from our team of Local Board services staff who have been welcoming, helpful and are super-efficient.
Subsequent days on the job have included chairing board workshops, attending meetings with council staff and community groups, cultural celebrations, meeting with chairpersons from the other 20 Auckland local boards, and preparing for the three years ahead.
It was great to welcome John Spiller to the role of deputy chair in December. We have a board of experienced local people who want the very best for their communities.
My plan is to lead a focussed, engaged and amicable board who carry out every aspect of their work with respect, timeliness and professionalism.
In addition to championing a number of significant projects in progress throughout our ward, we are about to prepare a draft Local Board plan for the forthcoming term and look forward to gathering feedback from local residents.
Work-life balance is important. I acknowledge that the frequent travel I enjoy may have to go on the back burner for a while!
I will continue to enjoy the outdoors, the arts and the company of family and friends – and I am excited at the pending arrival of our first grandchild.
Those who know me well are aware of the satisfaction I have had from a busy life and have asked many times in the past why I haven’t pursued the role of Local Board chairperson.
It now feels the time is right!
The Times will be keeping the readers updated on the work that the Howick Local Board is doing in a monthly column that will start soon