Five new faces were elected to the Auckland Council in October. The Herald met up with the 2016 intake, all former Local Board members, to find out what makes them tick, their hopes and aspirations in the job and five things they love about Auckland.

Efeso Collins, Manukau ward councillor for Auckland Council. Photo / Michael Craig.
Efeso Collins, Manukau ward councillor for Auckland Council. Photo / Michael Craig.
North Shore councillor Richard Hills.Photo / Michael Craig
North Shore councillor Richard Hills.Photo / Michael Craig

Richard Hills

North Shore Cllr Richard Hills tells us his 5 fave things about Auckland.

Ward - North Shore

Road to City Hall:

The son of parents who married on Takapuna Beach and raised a family in Glenfield. Got involved in youth-related issues after attending Auckland University of Technology. Shoulder-tapped by former Labour MP and Auckland councillor Ann Hartley and got elected to the Kaipatiki Local Board in 2010. When George Wood stood down from council, he put in a last-minute nomination and worked with sitting councillor Chris Darby. The pair got elected to the two North Shore seats, Hills by a slim margin of 128 votes.

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Maiden speech

The 30-year-old focused on people and the community, and couched issues in terms of people. Public transport is not about buses or trains, he said, but people and how they get to work and around the city. Growth is people moving here, like his mum, a daughter of immigrants who arrived by ship in the 1950s for a better life. He called on council to embrace and include people from different backgrounds, cultures and sexualities and gender identities.

Quote: "By becoming more people-focused, our community might feel more positive about us. We need to talk about people more."

Hopes and aspirations

Improved engagement and connection with people is central to his thinking. Investing in areas that make people feel good about their town centres, parks, community connections and feel safe. Youth engagement is important. So too, better public transport - SkyPath and other safe cycling and walking connections - addressing climate change, the housing crisis and homelessness. Still finding the line between being a Local Board member and councillor.

Five things he loves about Auckland
1) The people. You can go anywhere in the world and come back to New Zealand and it feels like we are the friendliest, most likely to help each other out.

2) The environment. Especially on the North Shore, the beaches and native bush are so accessible.

3) The weather. It's pretty good in the summer and we are pretty blessed to live here.

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4) Events and cultural diversity. You can go to the museum, the art gallery, you can visit marae pretty easily.

5) Parks and reserves. We have a richness of assets that are generally free to everyone.

Daniel Newman, Manurewa-Papakura ward councillor for Auckland Council. Photo / Michael Craig.
Daniel Newman, Manurewa-Papakura ward councillor for Auckland Council. Photo / Michael Craig.

Daniel Newman

Ward:

Manurewa-Papakura, also know as Man-Pap

Road to City Hall: The Papakura-raised Newman says public service is fundamental to his DNA, having served on the Manukau City Council, the Manurewa Local Board and co−sponsored a successful legal challenge to prohibit a Clendon retailer from selling BZP and other party drugs. The card-carrying member of the National Party, nicknamed Daniel 'Vlad' Newman by Whaleoil's Cam Slater, ousted sitting councillor Calum Penrose for one of two Man-Pap ward seats. He was born five weeks after fellow Man-Pap councillor Sir John Walker won gold in the 1500m at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Maiden speech

Focused on co-governance - powering up Local Boards - education, particularly literacy and numeracy among young teenagers, and maintaining existing assets and levels of service.

Quote: "We should not be scared of the co-governance model - it is the means to drive public confidence and restore trust."

Hopes and aspirations

Wants to see a more cosmopolitan and diverse community, and more younger faces in positions of leadership at council. Newman promises to be a voice not just for the future, but looking after what Auckland has today.

Five things he loves about Auckland
1) The natural environment of Tamaki Makaurau, with special mention for the Manukau, Waitemata and Kaipara harbours, and regional parks.

2) The fact Auckland is 100 villages and communities and the city is the sum of all parts.

3) The multicultural, cosmopolitan mix of people who have come from all over the globe and live peacefully together.

4) The resilience of Aucklanders who can be outspoken and strident advocates, particularly in the south.

5) The talent of young people who excel in education, sport and culture - "I love that".

Rodney councillor Greg Sayers. Photo / Michael Craig
Rodney councillor Greg Sayers. Photo / Michael Craig

Greg Sayers

Greg Sayers tell us his 5 favourite things about Auckland.

Ward - Rodney

Road to City Hall:

Rumours of corruption at the former Rodney District Council sparked a political interest for the businessman. Elected to the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board in 2010 and that board and Rodney Local Board in 2013. Owned a financial software company for 15 years that he sold 18 months ago to dedicate himself fulltime to politics. Been a director of two other companies. Unseated former Rodney Mayor and Len Brown loyalist Penny Webster.

Maiden speech

Believed 2016 was an opportunity for a fresh start with a clear mandate from the community for council to live within its means. Called for a stop to waste and overspending and cost savings if rates are to be kept low. Wants structure plans for northern growth centres at Kumeu and Warkworth. Talked about the health hazards from dust particles on unsealed roads, and a sealing programme of $10 million a year in Rodney.

Quote: "I believe our mandate to be clear. Council must live within its financial means."

Hopes and aspirations

Top priority is getting wasteful spending under control, largely through cost savings. Cites duplication on economic development is one area ripe for savings. Wants council to play a more active role in affordable housing by freeing up land supply more quickly and cutting red tape. Going to push for structure plans in towns earmarked for growth. Says the cart is before the horse with consents being issued for housing before transport and other infrastructure is in place. Increase Rodney's sealing programme from $3m to $10m a year over the next 10 years. That would seal one-third of the ward's roads, which is sufficient.

Five things he loves about Auckland
1) Being able to hop into a small boat, go fishing and grab a snapper.

2) Access to affordable leisure, be it the beach or going for a walk in Cornwall Park.

3) How accessible Auckland is by travelling from home in Snells Beach to the central city for dinner, an event or the zoo.

4) Business in Auckland - it's a wonderful place to set up and do business.

5) General lifestyle - my family choose to live in Auckland because of the lifestyle.

New Auckland City Councillor Desley Simpson in Mission Bay. Photo / Jason Oxenham.
New Auckland City Councillor Desley Simpson in Mission Bay. Photo / Jason Oxenham.

Desley Simpson

Ward - Orakei

Road to City Hall:

Began more than 140 years ago when her great-great uncle Sir Henry Brett served as an Auckland City councillor and became the sixth mayor of the city. Down the generations, her family have served in public office. Husband Peter Goodfellow is president of the National Party. Affectionately known as Lady Penelope for wearing bright outfits, Simpson has been a committed and popular chair of the Orakei Local Board for six years and relishes politics. Mentors include former Auckland City Mayor John Banks, who taught her to put people first, taught her about fiscal constraint and fostered a desire in her to make a difference. She replaced Cameron Brewer, who stood down in Orakei.

Maiden speech

Spoke about her deep family connections to public service in Auckland, the third-term Auckland Council being one of real progress and making the Super City model really work. She reiterated the message on the hustings for council to do more with less.

Quote: "Aucklanders want to see value for the rates they pay, and more often than not, they don't."

Hopes and aspirations

Wants to make change really happen this term, starting with governance and ensuring Local Boards are an important ingredient in the one Auckland Council. Believes ratepayers cannot be the only ones to fund billions of dollars worth of infrastructure and wants to tap into people prepared to push things along. Wants to know what investment has been made where over the last six years. Not impressed with trust in council, wants more honesty and less hiding behind weasel words.

Five things she loves about Auckland
1) The people and their diversity, all 191 ethnicities of them. They are what drives me to do what I do and deliver sound governance.

2) Our beaches, particularly those in Orakei.

3) Our sparkling harbours which hosts visitors via cruise ships, recreational boaties and those who fish, paddleboard, kite surf and sail.

4) Our parks and reserves, such as Selwyn Reserve in Mission Bay, which are so important in a growing city.

5) The fact Auckland is able to compete on a global scale where talent and enterprise can flourish and where it's easy to do business locally, nationally and internationally.