The former leader of United Future, Damian Light, is standing for a seat on Auckland Council following the death of councillor and Olympian Dick Quax.

Light told the Herald today he will contest the Howick byelection as an independent.

"I've got some big shoes to fill. Dick Quax was a long-standing public servant for Auckland, but hopefully I can take over and be a vocal voice for east Auckland," said the 34-year-old, who lives in Botany in the ward.

Light stepped up to the leadership of United Future when long-serving leader and Ohariu MP Peter Dunne announced he was quitting politics a month out from last September's general elections. United Future has wound up since the election.


Light said he wants to ensure east Auckland gets a good return from the new 10-year budget, particularly acceleration of the eastern busway. He supports the regional fuel tax of 11.5 cents a litre as "stop gap" until congestion charging is introduced.

The council has not released the date or details of the byelection, following the death of Quax last week. Light is the first person to publicly declare he is standing in the byelection.