Introducing Albert-Eden Local Board's new chair

Publish Date : 29 Apr 2024
Kendyl Smith
Kendyl Smith has served on Albert-Eden Local Board for two terms.

Kendyl Smith tags in as Albert-Eden Local Board’s new chair, while Margi Watson steps in as new deputy chair, as agreed at the start of the term.

Having served on the Albert-Eden Local Board in 2019-2022 and with 18 months already under her belt as deputy chair, Smith already has her finger firmly on the pulse.

Staff members of Albert-Eden Local Board.

Tag you're it - Margi Watson and Kendyl Smith swap roles, with Kendyl stepping in as chair.

“With feedback from Albert-Eden residents submitted through our local board plan, Annual Budget and Long-term Plan consultations over the past 18 months, we’ve got a good list of things to do that’s high on Albert-Eden’s agenda,” she says.

Albert-Eden’s new chair is frank about what can be achieved in the next 18 months while she is chair.

“Realistically, 18 months is not a lot of time in local board land and there are some really big challenges that Albert-Eden is facing.

“One of those is ensuring we’ve got a good amount of green space – particularly at Wairaka Precinct, where Unitec used to be and we’re aware of the imminent sale of Epsom Campus. With a lot of incoming growth, we want to make sure there are really good outcomes for that community,” she says.

“And we’re really unhappy about Point Chevalier Library’s closure so we’re working hard with Auckland Council to come up with good solutions for Point Chevalier community,” explains Smith.

“But I’m excited that we’ve just signed off Windmill Park’s concept plan. It’s one of Albert-Eden’s busiest sports and recreation parks so there will be great outcomes there too.”

However, budget messaging from chair to chair remains the same.

“Budgets are tight and we will continue to spend ratepayers’ money prudently and wisely,” she says.

Prudent spending is not a foreign concept to Smith, given her not-for-profit background, where every cent counted.

“A friend of mine was going into high schools with a programme called ‘Attitude’, talking about mental, emotion and sexual health. And it seemed like an ideal role so I went for it and was very fortunate enough to get it.

“I encouraged thousands of young people to make good choices when it came to really big milestones. Our hope was to provide insights that could help young people build meaningful lives. It was really fulfilling,” she says.

“After I left and had children, a friend suggested I should consider running for local board.

“I looked into it and it seemed like a really great means to serve the community in a new and interesting way.

“What I have enjoyed about being in local government is understanding why bureaucracy and certain processes are necessary, but also having a voice to try and solve problems and be really practical for the community.”

Find out more about Kendyl Smith by watching the video below.

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