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Halfway point brings change of Deputy Chair for Waitematā Local Board

Māori Outcomes portfolio introduced

Published: 29 April 2021

The end of April 2021 brings a change of Deputy Chair to Waitematā Local Board.

This follows an agreement made at the start of the board’s term that the Deputy Chair role would change hands at the halfway point. Kerrin Leoni has been in the role over the term’s first half, with Alexandra Bonham taking the reins for the remainder.

It is both Ms Leoni and Bonham’s first term on the board.

Ms Leoni, of Ngāti Paoa, Ngāi Takoto and Ngāti Kuri descent, said she stood for Waitematā Local Board because she is passionate about ensuring outstanding services to the community including housing, education and arts and culture. Addressing poverty and homelessness were also major concerns that drove her to get involved. 

The board recently introduced a Māori Outcomes portfolio which Ms Leoni leads, along with the board’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio. The need for better outcomes for Māori is a priority for the board, featuring as a key component of their three-year Waitematā Local Board Plan

“I believe providing Māori cultural advice and developing relationships with mana whenua are critical. The board introducing a Māori Outcomes portfolio is a big step forward for Waitematā and Tāmaki Makaurau.

“As the Deputy Chair, I’ve worked to increase the board’s engagement with mana whenua and Māori living in Waitematā and I will continue to do this work as the Māori Outcomes portfolio lead.”

Ms Bonham says she’s excited to step into the Deputy Chair role.

“I love living in Waitematā and I want to protect its fantastic qualities: its heritage, its leafiness, its beautiful beaches, the diversity of the people, places, businesses and events that make life so interesting and enjoyable. 

“Improving Waitematā’s natural and urban environment is a key area for me. I can’t wait to get stuck into this work and more as the board’s Deputy Chair. 

“Central government is keen to see Auckland grow: how can this be done without degrading the environment, quality of life, increasing carbon emissions or leaving people behind? This is the challenge.”

Ms Bonham leads the board’s Planning and Resource Consents portfolio and co-leads the Environment and Infrastructure portfolio and Arts and Events portfolio.

Chair of Waitematā Local Board Richard Northey says it’s a pleasure to work with both women and that its important local government reflects the communities that it serves.

“Kerrin and Alex are two inspiring leaders who have a history of working hard in their communities. We’re fortunate to have them on the board alongside the rest of our talented team.”

The Deputy Chair role officially changed hands on 28 April 2021. You can find out more about Waitematā Local Board and contact them at their website.

Read more: Waitematā & Gulf

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