For too long our communities have not had a voice. I believe it is the fundamental right of every person to be involved in local decision-making - should they choose to. Under the current system, this has not been the case. I am committed to empowering the local community to have their say through an inclusive participatory approach to issues. Unlike the other candidates, I will have no other job and will commit full-time to working for the communities of Pt Chevalier, Waterview, Morningside, Sandringham, Owairaka and Mt Albert. I believe local boards under the new Supercity structure will only be effective if people are committed and willing to put in the hours.
I will work hard to ensure your voice on issues and developments is heard and acted upon. Almost all the other candidates are affiliated to a political party and will be under pressure to vote along party lines. As an independent, I am under no such obligation and am free to support the best ideas that have community buy-in.
Resident in Mt Albert for over 17 years, I am married to a local doctor. We have two gorgeous children currently attending Mt Albert Grammar School. I am passionate about my neighbourhood and have no desire to live anywhere else. For many years I have been active in the community, most recently for four years on the committee of Friends of Oakley Creek - Te Auaunga. I have been an active participant and supporter of my childrens’ academic and sporting activities, both at a school and club level. Prior to starting a family, I was a regular volunteer at the Salvation Army Family Centre/foodbank at Mt Roskill.
For a long time I have been a strong advocate for the environment and have worked hard over a number of years to achieve good outcomes not only for the environment but also for the affected communities of SH20 Waterview Connection. Along with a fellow candidate I was on the steering committee for 'Tunnel or Nothing' and was one of the organisers of a march last year protesting against what was then a vastly inferior surface motorway option. Through the combined efforts of the Waterview, Owairaka and Mt Albert communities' and environmental groups such as Friends of Oakley Creek, we were able to gain much improved mitigation from NZTA for the area. Although any further outcomes now rest with the Board of Inquiry process, I would welcome the opportunity should I be elected to the Albert-Eden Local Board to be part of a Working Liaison Group that oversees the construction period of the project. I believe my training as a landscape architect along with my past experience would make me a useful member.
I consider myself fortunate to live in an area that has so much to offer. However, we cannot take this for granted and must continue to work for greater protection for our parks, beaches, volcanic cones and urban waterways. We need to put the ‘local’ back into our communities by building strong, vibrant town centres, making our neighbourhoods clean and safe, providing better transport choices and funding essential services such as footpaths, libraries, recreation and sports facilities.
By including people in local decision-making, a degree of collaboration is achieved where good workable ideas can come to the fore. This helps to avoid the costly and excessive waste of ratepayers’ money on consultants’ fees that has characterised Council to date. Although it is vital that we work to build better communities, this must not be at the expense of huge rate increases. Rates must be kept at a level that is fair and affordable for all.
Please vote for me:
- for a full-time and accessible representative;
- a trained landscape architect who understands urban design, ecology, infrastructure, planning processes and environmental law;
- an independent voice as part of the Focus Local team
- for someone who does not purport to know what the community wants and is willing first and foremost to listen.
For an independent voice, vote FOCUS LOCAL and make where we live count.
Top 5 Issues
- Empowering the local community to have their say in local decision-making through an inclusive participatory approach. By including people in local decision-making, a degree of collaboration is achieved where good workable ideas can come to the fore.
- Putting the ‘local’ back into our communities by building strong, vibrant town centres that attract good businesses; making our neighborhoods clean and safe; funding essential services such as libraries, recreation and sport facilities and funding basics such as footpaths.
I support strengthening the 'heart' of our town centres by supporting local businesses that provide necessary services to the local community.
- Working towards greater protection and enhancement of our parks, reserves, beaches, volcanic cones and urban waterways. We need to support the many volunteers, community groups and stakeholder representatives who do so much work for the betterment of the environment and our community.
- Listening to the community on issues and developments that affect them. We need to hear your voice on issues such as mitigation for SH20 Waterview Connection, development of the Mt. Albert and Pt. Chevalier precinct plans, the Westfield St. Lukes expansion, management of Owairaka Mountain and public transport choices for the area. For too long, local politicians have purported to know what the community wants and what is best for them. Listening has not been a strong point. We need to provide a forum where people can have their say on local issues and developments – should they choose to. This might involve focus or working groups, board members attending community group meetings, providing a ‘local’ website where people can post comments and having board members that are full-time and accessible. Attending a board meeting once a month whilst holding down a fulltime job is just not going to cut it anymore.
- Keeping rates at a level that is fair and affordable for ordinary people. It is always a ‘balancing act’ to provide for future growth and development that meets peoples’ needs and at the same time keep rates at a level that everyone can afford. By involving the community in preparing local board plans, we can find out what is needed and what will work. We can then prioritize and work towards achieving community goals in a methodical way that avoids throwing huge amounts of ratepayers’ money at ‘half-baked’ ideas that nobody really wants.
My family love living in Mt Albert and we believe that we are fortunate to live in an area that has so much to offer. However, we cannot take this for granted and if our special places are to remain for our children and their children, we must continue to work for greater protection for our parks, beaches, volcanic cones and urban waterways. We continue to lose local green space at an alarming rate at the very time that more and more members of our community are becoming increasingly reliant on them.
As a qualified landscape architect, I believe I bring a particular skill set that allows me to understand the complexities of urban design, ecological, infrastructural and planning issues. I have a good working knowledge of both national and local government legislation, in particular the Resource Management Act 1991. As a designer, I am familiar with planning processes under the District Plan and I have what I believe to be a vitally important skill – the ability to read, understand and visualize plans. All too often in the past, local politicians have cried foul once a development, eg. Mt Eden Prison, is underway and it is too late to effect change.
Please support the Focus Local team – we are all candidates who are not affiliated to any political party and will have a strong independent voice to represent your views on community issues. Vote for a change from the adversarial ‘left/right’ politics that has hampered Auckland for far too long.
Norma de Langen
Ph (09) 846 1083
Mob. 027 6790211
Authorised by Mark Donnelly of 13 Walters Rd, Kingsland, Auckland
Results - Final
- Graeme Easte
- Margi Watson
- Helga Arlington
- Pauline Anderson
- Murray Dorreen
- Obed Unasa
- Gary Carter
- Sarah Turner
- Cameron Morris
- Claudette Hauiti
- Norma De Langen
- Rajiv Sood