Auckland’s four newly elected councillors gave their maiden speeches at today’s inaugural Governing Body meeting for the 2019-2022 council term.
The four councillors are: Pippa Coom, representing Waitematā and Gulf, Angela Dalton from Manurewa-Papakura, Shane Henderson representing Waitākere, and Tracy Mulholland from Whau. They were sworn-in at a ceremony that took place in the Auckland Town Hall on Friday, 1 November.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff congratulated each of the new councillors on becoming members of Auckland Council.
“I am delighted to have our four new councillors with us on the Council today. They bring freshness, competency and experience as all are former local board chairs. Each one will add to the quality of the Governing Body and the decisions it makes on behalf of Auckland.”
The maiden speeches focussed on climate change, infrastructure investment, public transport, working together and responsiveness and accountability for communities.
Councillor Pippa Coom
In her maiden speech, Councillor Pippa Coom spoke of her background in community activism, volunteering and community building.
She also spoke of her commitment to social justice, the living wage, road safety and transport choice, a real say for local communities, environmental restoration and action on climate change.
“The challenge for this term cannot be overstated. Bold leadership is needed like never before, there can be no more business as usual.
“Our agreed 1.5 target requires urgent climate action in the next 10 years. Everything has to be seen through the lens of the climate emergency and climate action must be at the heart of all our decision making.
“All of us as councillors need to be focussed and prepared for the challenge ahead. Decisions must be made for the long-term and not the short-term”, she said.
Councillor Angela Dalton
Councillor Angela Dalton talked of her priorities to remember the role of local boards as partners in Auckland’s shared governance, to improve outcomes for Māori and to serve the people of Manurewa-Papakura.
She also spoke about the privilege it is to be elected to serve as a councillor for Auckland and being the first woman elected as a councillor from the South.
“The Governing Body now has nine women elected to it, a record. Women’s participation in politics is evidenced to be critical for the development of inclusive, responsive and transparent democracies.
“We need policies designed by women, focussed on women and executed by women. Not at the expense of men or instead of men but alongside and with men.
If we are to have an Auckland that is inclusive that starts right here with leadership that is inclusive, we are stronger together”, she said.
Councillor Shane Henderson
Councillor Shane Henderson thanked the people of Waitākere and spoke of the huge climate change challenge facing Auckland.
“I feel there is no greater challenge to the future of our communities that we know that are threatened by the forces of climate change. There are also no greater opportunities to take action than right now. We have a choice to improve lives at this table.
“Declaring a climate emergency is no small thing. It could be the defining moments in the future of our city. It is a call to action, a chance to do something positive and exciting.
“We can share a vision for Auckland in these three years where we are inspiring and leading solutions that will save communities as we know them.”
Councillor Tracy Mulholland
Councillor Tracy Mulholland talked of her previous experiences working in the public sector and the need for great leadership and excellence in governance.
“Our aim should always be the betterment of the community and listening to others. Creating an environment for people to live in harmony and enabling an environment where people can happily and joyfully live their lives and achieve their goals.
“For Auckland to be successful we must deliver for the people”.
She also spoke about the need for more fairness, accountability, good sound fiscal decisions, ensuring good economic development outcomes and better infrastructure for Auckland.
The maiden speeches are available to view on-demand here