Long-serving councillor Penny Hulse has been honoured by Local Government New Zealand for outstanding contribution to local government in a career spanning 27 years.
The Taiwhenua Internal Affairs EXCELLENCE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government was presented to the retiring Waitākere ward councillor at the LGNZ conference in Wellington last night.
Mayor Phil Goff is pleased to see Councillor Hulse acknowledged for her contribution to Auckland and to local government, but not surprised.
“For more than 27 years, Penny Hulse has been a strong voice for her constituents, working constructively with politicians of all stripes to deliver positive outcomes for Auckland. It has been a pleasure working with Penny.
“Her presence and experience around the council table will be greatly missed.”
Penny has been at the forefront of local body politics since 1992 when she was elected to the Waitākere Community Board, of which she was elected chair in 1994.
She was then deputy mayor of Waitākere City Council for a term before becoming the first deputy mayor of Auckland Council, a position she held for two terms.
Admired as a consensus builder, she is respected for her inclusive style and sense of fairness. She is also known for her strong leadership and in particular for her work on climate change, sustainable city development, environmental advocacy, and community development and youth issues.
South African by birth, Penny is a proud ‘westie’ passionate about her community and the ideals that are important to them, while still championing the need for economic development and investment in the region.
She led both the development of the Auckland Plan and the blueprint for the Unitary Plan and has been instrumental in helping build a strong foundation for Auckland Council.
Currently chair of the Environment and Community Committee, in previous council terms Penny has served as chair of the Auckland Development Committee, the CCO Government Committee, and as deputy chair of the Unitary Plan.
“Penny is an outstanding politician and her tremendous contribution to the sector will be sorely missed,” said LGNZ President Dave Cull.
“She has demonstrated outstanding commitment to local government in taking on some of the biggest tasks in the amalgamated Auckland Council.”
Community at heart
Even with her hectic political life, she continues to serve her community in a range of roles. These include Community Waitākere Charitable Trust, West Auckland Riding for the Disabled, the Trust Waitākere Brass Band, Swanson Railway Station Trust, Healthy Families Waitakere, Auckland Choral Foundation, and Waitākere Anti Violence Essential Services.
The EXCELLENCE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Local Government is designed to recognise one or more individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to local government and was awarded by LGNZ’s National Council. Opotiki Mayor John Forbes was the other recipient of the award.