The people of People's Panel: Russell

Publish Date : 07 Jul 2017

OurAuckland spoke to Russell (31), who is from the North Shore and is a member of Auckland Council's People's Panel.

When did you sign up?
Around 2012 when I came back from Australia.

What attracted you?

I really believe in being an active citizen, actually getting out there and living your politics. I studied political science at university and what I came to realise is that politics is not a thing you do in a polling booth every three years – it’s what you do with the space in-between and in relation to the issues that you particularly care about. I believe in having a democratic system of governance so I’ve got to play my part.

What surveys have you done?
My focus of interest is environmental and socially related justice – anything that’s going to improve the wellbeing of people or the environment of Auckland as well as public amenities and recreational spaces. I’ve started to take more of an interest in the economics of how the council is running in terms of its financials and tax.

Have you seen any changes?
Yeah I have. Particularly in relation to transport – I think the council has been really responsive to the public’s opinion on that. The feedback within the People's Panel has been really great and the stakeholder reporting has been tight and timely as well. I’ve been impressed with how the whole process works towards changing council policy.

Why should people join the People's Panel?
It’s easy its one of those things I’ve got into the habit of doing the surveys. It’s a bit cheesy but it’s the knowledge that you’ve played your part.

Back to News