Persistence pays off for retiring local board member

Publish Date : 23 Sep 2022
Harry Doig
Harry Doig

Staff and fellow local board members thanked retiring Puketāpapa Local Board member Harry Doig for his impressive record of leadership and service at the board’s last business meeting for the current electoral term.

Member Doig served Puketāpapa Local Board for nine years over three terms, as deputy chairperson and as the chairperson.

Harry initially trained and worked as a civil engineer and then moved into tertiary education at Wellington Polytechnic. This was followed by a stint working in the Ministry of Education and more recently work in literacy and numeracy education in Auckland

“Three terms and have passed in a flash. At first, I was very sceptical about the local governance model that was introduced, but I very quickly saw the range and depth of issues local board members would be dealing with,” he says. 

“Over this time, the principles of persistence, perspiration, patience and politeness are what has served me well.”

He said that given the pressures of housing intensification and climate change, stormwater issues and resolving them bubbled to the top very quickly.

“They remained a theme throughout, and I suspect they will continue to do so.”

Harry reminisced about the highlights of his stint on the board and the projects he says he has had the privilege to lead and work on.

These include the environmental restoration plan for Te Auaunga Awa / Oakley Creek, Walmsley and Underwood Reserves Te Auaunga restoration, deepening partnership with mana whenua, supporting community groups such as Friends of Te Auaunga / Oakley Creek, the development of the Integrated Area Plan and the Healthy Puketāpapa strategy.

Harry finished his valedictory speech at the business meeting by stressing the importance of questioning everything, thanking staff and colleagues, and wishing newer, younger elected members the very best.

The warmth, applause, and acknowledgement that Harry received from everyone, regardless of their political views, spoke volumes about him as a person, a politician, and a colleague.

Louise Mason, General Manager of the Local Board Services team, thanked Harry on behalf of Auckland Council staff.

“Over the years, I have come to know you as extremely hardworking and a champion of the shared governance model and for your commitment to your local communities,” she said.

“You have treated the staff with respect which is greatly appreciated. We wish you the best for whatever you decide to do next.”

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