More than half of century of experience has been lost with the decision of three Albert-Eden Local Board members not to seek re-election.
The longest-serving member, Graeme Easte, has served for more than three decades, after taking an interest in local affairs in the 1970s, when he would attend council and community meetings.
“There’s no substitute for personal presence when something special happens.”
Easte went on to serve as a Western Bays Community Board member, including as Chair, on the Auckland City Council before the Super City was formed, and has been part of Albert-Eden Local Board since 2010.
His colleagues say he brought a unique view to decision-making, coupled it with boundless energy and scrutiny of processes.
In more than a decade serving Albert-Eden he worked with the Pt Chevalier and Mt Albert business associations, environmental restoration groups at the Roy Clements Walkway and Waititiko/Meola Creek, supported the development of the Waiorea Community Recycling Centre project, and was also a founding member of the Friends of Oakley Creek, the Mt Albert Residents’ Association and Living Streets Aotearoa.
Standing for office in 2010 was a step into the unknown for Lee Corrick, who brought a strong community focus to the table.
She recalls her first campaign meeting, where candidates outnumbered residents, and having questions fired at her.
“I was asked what our area’s most important assets were, I replied, ‘people’.”
Corrick has always kept that at the forefront of her thinking and is particularly proud of establishing the Albert-Eden Youth Board and her Epsom community work.
She has worked with the business associations at Greenwoods Corner, Mt Eden, Dominion Road and Balmoral, and been heavily involved with the City Rail Loop.
“It’s been a pleasure to develop our park infrastructure, especially Essex Reserve and the Balmoral Heights butterfly garden,” she says.
In the 2019-2022 term, she was Deputy Chair until May 2021, then chair until May this year.
“We challenged ourselves to share those roles. I only ever did my best to get good results for our community. I feel the same as I did when I was first elected. We should always listen to our communities and keep our minds open.”
The third member not seeking re-election is Rachel Langton, elected in 2013 with the encouragement of Auckland Councillor and former Mayor Christine Fletcher, as a working young mother determined to serve the community.
She has been Sport and Recreation portfolio lead, a member of Greenwoods Corner Business Association and the Mt Eden Methodist Church Trust, Chair of the Albert-Eden Local Board Swimming Pool Fencing Exemptions Committee, and a portfolio alternate for Economic Development.
“I quickly learnt what I’d initially thought might be straightforward, might not always be so. I’ve had to grapple with some big issues but had a wonderful time.”
She has supported and advocated on behalf of local businesses and young people and families, particularly around infrastructure in public parks.
“We are the entry level of democratic service. Sometimes it’s easy to not listen to dissenting voices but I encourage every member to open doors and listen to everyone. Dissent can feel uncomfortable but ultimately leads to better decision-making.
“This is where I’m bringing up my children, I’ve had three babies during my time as an elected member. We have an amazing community.”
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