With more than 50 years cutting hair, resigning Manurewa Local Board member Ken Penney has seen hundreds of thousands of people through his barber shop.
“They’ve always told me where the board is going wrong and what it should be doing and that’s helped me stay in touch.”
A former Manurewa Business Association chair, Penney says he’s seen generations of families grow but the conversations remain similar. “People talk about the town and how the area has changed, things that concern them and things they are proud of.”
He’s always taken that input to meetings and says he’s enjoyed being able to serve an area where the people are loyal, genuine and humble.
“Collaboration has always been a strength, and it’s enabled development and expanded business opportunities in the town, at Clendon and Wiri.”
He’s upbeat about the future. “It’s been a great journey and I would have liked to have carried on but it’s difficult to commit to the hours people are entitled to expect.
“Manurewa has changed, there’s more people, but that means more facilities and opportunities. We’ve grown but our appetite for inclusion and diversity hasn’t changed.
Penney famously promised to shout the community a roast pork dinner when the Weymouth boat ramp was built, delivering on that by feeding everyone who turned up to the opening.
“There is more to me than the boat ramp, but I do want to acknowledge the staff I have worked with over my time on the board. They have always provided good advice and support that has made my job easier.”
Also stepping down is Dave Pizzini, elected in a 2018 by-election and returned a year later, who’s been a voice for community and sports groups, and championed CCTV.
Member Tabetha Elliott (Gorrie) is not seeking re-election in Manurewa but is standing in the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki rohe.