Strong result for City Vision and centre-left

Media Release from City Vision

13 October 2013

Strong result for City Vision and centre-left

“The 2013 Auckland Council elections have seen a strong performance from City Vision and progressive teams across the Auckland isthmus”, says Gwen Shaw, Campaign Co-ordinator for City Vision.

“On the Auckland Isthmus City Vision achieved the following results:

  • In the Waitemata & Gulf Islands Ward incumbent City Vision-endorsed Councillor Mike Lee was returned with a strong majority.
  • In the Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward incumbent City Vision Councillor Cathy Casey was comfortably returned.
  • On the Waitemata Local Board, City Vision retained five out of seven positions.
  • On the Albert-Eden Local Board, City Vision retained five out of eight positions.
  • On the Puketapapa Local Board, Roskill Community Voice increased representation to win four out of six positions.

“When taken together with the Whau Local Board result (five Labour members elected on a Board of seven) and Maungakiekie-Tamaki (four Labour members elected on a Board of seven), this means that all Local Boards on the Auckland isthmus, with the exception of Orakei, are controlled by progressive groupings. This is a major achievement and a huge change from the old Auckland City days of C&R domination.

“Regretfully, some high quality City Vision candidates were not successful this election. We also note with sadness the loss of Richard Northey as Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward Councillor. City Vision has worked extensively with Richard over the years and we know him to be a person of great integrity and knowledge who has served his community faithfully. His contribution on Council will be greatly missed.

“With strong progressive representation across the Auckland Isthmus we will be working hard to engage our local communities over the coming term. We campaigned on public ownership of Auckland’s assets, empowering local communities, treating people and our environment with respect, and building a congestion free network. We thank Aucklanders for their support this election and will work hard to advance the values and policies we were elected upon”, says Gwen Shaw.


Contact Gwen Shaw 027 4144074

Final days to vote – head to the library

Drop it off to voteMedia release from City Vision

9 October 2013

City Vision is reminding people that Wednesday 9 October is the final day for posting votes in the Auckland Council elections. After the post has been cleared on Wednesday, people will need to head to their local library to cast their votes.

“Wednesday 9 October is the final day that votes can be put in the mail, with certainty that they will be received on time. After that, people need to head to their local library to vote. It is an innovation for libraries to be able to receive votes in the days leading up to election day and City Vision welcomes it. Any step that makes voting easier is to be applauded”, says Pippa Coom, City Vision candidate for Waitemata Local Board.

People voting at the library still need to complete the voting paper that has been mailed to their home address. Complete the voting paper, seal it in the return envelope, and then deposit it in the ballot box at your library. People can vote at their local library up until 12noon on Saturday 12 October. Auckland Council Service Centres, including the Civic Building on Grey St (ballot box) and at 45 Graham St (counter), will also be open on Thursday and Friday to collect completed voting papers.

“As of Tuesday 8 October just 22% of Aucklanders have had their say by voting. City Vision urges all other Aucklanders to participate in our democratic process by mailing their vote this Wednesday, or by taking their vote to the library on Thursday or Friday, or on Saturday morning”, says Pippa Coom.

City Vision campaign launched

City Vision Waitemata Local Board teamIt was great to be at the  City Vision campaign launch on Sunday 4 August with such an enthusiastic and positive buzz of candidates and supporters.

Chair Robert Gallagher welcomed Mayor Len Brown and a strong presence of MPs – local Mt Roskill MP Phil Goff, Mt Albert’s David Shearer, Jacinda Ardern and Denise Roche from Auckland Central and Carol Beaumont from Maungakiekie.

Mayor Len Brown spoke about the achievements of the first Auckland Council in the areas of affordable housing, securing the CBD Rail Link and rates restraint. He  committed to continuing an inclusive approach to get things done and to ensure the old C&R ways of oppositional politics did not return.

Christopher Dempsey and Pippa CoomThe whole City Vision team standing for the Waitemata Local Board were there with City Vision endorsed Cr Mike Lee who is standing for the Waitemata & Gulf Ward.

City Vision has also launched a new website at and campaigning is underway.

City Vision on twitter

City Vision on FB


Progress for progressive values in Waitemata

City Vision media release

1 November 2012

City Vision teamWith one year until the local government election, elected representatives from City Vision in Waitemata are pleased with their achievements promoting progressive policies since the new council was established.

The new Auckland Council came into existence two years ago and at that time many people worried it would mean local communities would lose their voice. “We’ve been fighting to make sure the new structure looks after our local communities,” says City Vision member of the Waitemata Local Board Shale Chambers.

“Progressive elected members on the Governing Body and Local Boards of Auckland Council have had their shoulders to the wheel delivering better public transport, keeping rates fair, protecting heritage and the environment, and supporting investment in our local communities.

Mr Chambers was speaking to launch the two year accountability report for City Vision in Waitemata. He says City Vision and supporting groups (made up of Labour, Greens and community independents) have been working together to try and make the new unified governance structure a success.

“We think it’s important to communicate what we have been doing at the same time as listening to what people think is important about their city. Many people tell us they’re pleased to see progressive values becoming embedded in Auckland.

“Many people had strong reservations about the ‘Supercity’ at the time of its creation, and while concerns remain, we’re working to bring Auckland together, end the negative do-nothing politics of the past and give our communities a voice.

The report covers the Waitemata Local Board and Waitemata & Gulf Islands Ward. Reports have also been produced for the Albert-Eden Local Board, the Puketapapa Local Board, and the Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward. The reports show our elected members delivering on their election commitments, including:

  • Being staunch advocates for public ownership of public assets by fighting off attempts to privatise the airport, ports and water utility      company from Communities & Ratepayer representatives
  • Advocating for stronger environmental and heritage protection standards
  • Prudent financial oversight and working to reduce the impact of the government’s amalgamation on rates
  • Strongly pushing for better public transport, including the City Rail Link
  • Supporting decision making at the local level to ensure local communities continue to see investment in their areas

“While some on Council have chosen to snipe from the sidelines and play negative political games, we have focussed on the issues that matter for Aucklanders.

“Two years since the establishment of the new Auckland Council we are proud of our achievements, but also see much to be done. The disastrous Ports dispute must be solved fairly, CCOs need to be opened up to more public scrutiny, Local Boards need more equitable funding, the government should support our public transport agenda and Council must hold its nerve on the vision of a quality compact city. Our elected members will continue to speak up for our communities on all of these issues”, says Shale Chambers.



City vision has produced 3 separate two year accountability reports covering Waitemata, Albert-Eden and Puketapapa. Around 90,000 reports in total have been produced for the whole area.

City Vision is Auckland’s progressive local body political group. It represents the local Labour and Green parties and progressive community independents.

In the 2010 first “super city” election City Vision stood candidates for the Waitemata Local Board, Albert Eden Local Board, Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward councillors. City Vision endorsed Councillor Mike Lee for the Waitemata & Gulf Ward and supported Roskill Community Voice for the Puketapapa Local Board and Labour in Maungakiekie-Tamaki.

Waitemata Local Board – 5 City Vision members (out of 7) led by Chair, Shale Chambers with Pippa Coom, Deputy Chair and members Christopher Dempsey, Jesse Chalmers and Tricia Reade

Albert Eden Local Board – 5 City Vision members (out of 8 from 2 subdivisions) led by Chair, Peter Haynes

Puketapapa Local Board – 2 Roskill Community Voice members (out of 6) led by member Michael Wood

Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward – Councillor Cathy Casey (1 of 2 Councillors)

Waitemata & Gulf Ward – Councillor Mike Lee

Fair Trade Auckland – we did it

You know it is going to be a good gig when the Mayor takes off his tie and jacket, throws away his speech and gets ready to sing. Len was responding to the wonderfully warm and festive reception from everyone gathered to celebrate Auckland becoming a Fair trade City. Michael Toliman, the coffee farmer from Papua New Guinea in New Zealand for fairtrade fortnight, greeted the Mayor’s announcement with a booming traditional chant. The Mayor loved the challenge of responding with a song.

The room was full of the many people who have been worked tremendously hard to make Auckland Fair Trade. I acknowledge them all and especially those from the Make Auckland Fair Trade campaign team who were not able to be there for the announcement. In particular singer Kirsten Morrell who had flown out to the UK the night before.

My introduction to the Make Auckland Fair trade Campaign was through meeting Kirsten when I was on the election trail with her mother, Tricia Reade who is now my City Vision colleague on the Waitemata Local Board. Kirsten has been a passionate supporter of Fair Trade for many years and when we met in 2010 had been actively collecting signatures for the Make Auckland Fair Trade petition. Kirsten’s persuasive arguments for Fair Trade were instrumental in the initiative becoming the policy of the Waitemata Local Board.  With the support of my colleagues on the Board we were able to kick off the process through Council to meet one of the key requirements of being certified a Fair Trade City. It took exactly a year from our own resolution to be the first Fair Trade Local Board in May 2011 for the decision to go to through  the Council’s Economic Forum, the Tenders and Procurement sub-committee and finally to the Regional and Operations Development Committee in March when the Mayor and Council voted unanimously in support.

The smooth process through Council was made possible by the rock solid report prepared by Geoff Cooper and Barrett Owen. The report outlines all the reasons for Council to support Fair Trade . In 2007 the same initiative from Leila Boyle and Richard Northey on the Auckland City Council was defeated after a media beat up about the cost of toilet paper. Luckily there is far greater awareness about the benefits of Fair Trade now and the Council is in fact likey to save money from switching to Fairtrade tea and coffee.

For me becoming Fairtrade is all part of a “brand Auckland” that I would like to be proud of it. If we are going to be the most liveable city in the world then we need to be innovative, creative and fair. We can use our extensive buying power to be conscious consumers making a direct impact in the developing world with every purchase.  I also think Auckland as a Fair Trade City will be good for business and expanding our trading opportunities with the South Pacific.

Congratulations Auckland!

Renumeration rates for Local Board members

As one of the City Vision candidates standing for the Waitemata Local Board I, like the other 6 candidates, put myself forward for selection before the Remuneration Authority released its determination on elected member salaries for the new Auckland Council. It demonstrated a commitment to public service and a willingness to do the job regardless of the financial benefit. We were able to do some guess work which suggested that the Local Board responsibilities would result in renumeration more than the current Community Board members of around $10,000pa.

The Authority has now determined that the new Auckland Council mayor will be paid $240,000, and councillors will receive a base rate of $80,000. The base rate for Local Board members will be between $20,100 (Great Barrier) the minimum base rate and $37,100 (Howick), the maximum base rate. Waitemata Local Board members will receive a base rate of $35,000.

I’m fortunate that, if elected, I will be able to serve as a Local Board member without needing an additional income and will be able to make a full-time commitment to the role (thanks to my supportive partner).   It is a concern, however, if the salary on offer is an amount that will potentially put off  candidates who do not have the financial independence required to give up work commitments for a big pay drop. The Remuneration Authority needed to find a balance between recognising the responsibilities of the Local Board members and a fair cost to ratepayers. At the current salaries levels ratepayers will be getting an incredibly good deal from their elected respresentatives, especially at  Local Board level where the  range of member responsibilities will be significant.

Community Independent to stand for City Vision for Waitemata Local Board

I feel very fortunate and privileged to have been selected yesterday to be one of the 7 City Vision Candidates standing for the Waitemata Local Board.

Here is my full speech prepared for the Selection Meeting at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on Saturday 19 June 2010.

I’m Pippa Coom
I’m seeking selection as a community independent with the City Vision team for the Waitemata Local Board.

If I have to give myself a job title it is variously –  a change agent, Community Organiser, a cycling advocate, and a free agent, but what I do is work towards  creating a sustainable community.

Integral to what I can bring to the City Vision Campaign and the role of Local Board Member are the people and places that support me and without whom I am not able to achieve anything.

I would like to acknowledge the Steering Committee of Grey Lynn 2030 and the supporters here today – my sustainability colleagues who share the same vision and are working hard to make it happen.

I acknowledge my friends – my urban whanau whose children motivate me to make my generation accountable so that we don’t compromise their future needs at a time of huge environment, social and economic challenges.

I acknowledge my family – my partner Paul who has given up hoping to live with a domestic goddess, and my mum Barbara who I can thank for my social conscious and social responsibility developed from political action starting in the 70’s and a healthy interest in reading the Guardian newspaper from a young age.

I acknowledge this place the Grey Lynn Community Centre – the heart of so much that goes on in our community and my unofficial office at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market each Sunday.

As far as an immigrant can say they have a turangawaewae in NZ that place for me is the central suburbs of Auckland. The first place I landed in when we came  to NZ from the UK in 1982 was Castle Street across the road. My mum recognised the value of living in older heritage suburbs and before we had even set foot in NZ had decided that our home would be in this area.  I also looked at the map of Auckland and from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire decided instinctively that Auckland Girls’ Grammar was the school for me .

For 25 years the family home was in Ponsonby (an area now known as the Avenues of Herne Bay) and now all of my NZ family lives in Grey Lynn (yes that is my entire family in NZ of 2).  I must acknowledge my belated dad Mel for having the foresight to buy a house in Grey Lynn 25 years ago where we live now.

I moved away from Auckland for many years – for uni at Otago, travel, career jobs as a lawyer in Wellington, an OE in London – and would often say that I could never live in this city again. A heartless, crass, cowboy town, destroyed by the corporate vandalism of the 80’s. I was convinced that I’d rather freeze through Wellington summers than live in a place without decent public transport, a closed off waterfront, uninspiring urban design, a paucity of leadership with no civic pride.

But what eventually bought me back 4 years ago was the search for a sense of community, the place I could call my own turf and feel passionate enough about to want to make a difference (not to mention the love of good Auckland man and an opportunity to live close to my mum). With perfect synchronicity, when I was looking to get  back into voluntary work after a hedonistic time overseas, I discovered our local transition town group Grey Lynn 2030.

A group with a positive vision of creating a sustainable, vibrant, self resilient community. At its most simple it is about creating the place we want to live.  We don’t just talk about ideas but take action to make them a reality– waste minimisation, community gardens, water way restoration. I am grateful for the freedom Grey Lynn 2030 has given me to pursue a range of projects – traffic calming initiatives, organising a street party, connecting to the local community through a monthly newsletter, bringing the community together at monthly meetings and encouraging sustainable business practices.

I am fortunate that my job is what I am passionate about- thanks to Vector for making me redundant last year and with the support of my partner – I have been able to work full time for Grey Lynn 2030, on climate change awareness campaigns and for Cycle Action Auckland and Frocks on Bikes  – other fabulous groups that have supported me to get on and make things happen –  and more recently on the City Vision campaign committee.

It really is true that if your job is what you are passionate about you never work another day again. As part of the transition town movement we are encouraged to step up into positions of leadership.  To serve on the Local Board, will to some extent be a continuation of what I am doing now as my job. I say this with respect to the elected officials here who know the reality of local government but I feel am ideally placed to represent my local community. It will be my full -time and only  job using many of my current community focused skills not to mention what I consider normal now  – regular meetings, taking every opportunity to network and playing an active role in the community.

I am also hugely excited about the election, the new era of local democracy and the opportunities provided by the new Auckland Council. I feel positive for what will be achieved and full of hope for an Auckland with a progressive Council and new leadership.  I am committed to campaigning for a City Vision Local Board,  Mike Lee getting elected for the Waitemata- Gulf Ward and Len Brown as Mayor.

It is essential that we have strong local boards and people on those boards who are able to take on a huge range of new responsibilities. I am more than ready for that challenge.  I am not looking for this opportunity to spring board to any other position – my focus and aspirations sit with the central suburbs of Auckland that make up the Waitemata Ward and I acknowledge all the communities that make up the ward and aren’t represented here today.

I come to City Vision as a community independent supported by Grey Lynn 2030 – the philosophy and policy of City Vision fits neatly with our vision for our local community.  I would consider it a huge privilege to stand as a candidate with City Vision and if elected to serve my local community on the Waitemata Local Board. I thank you all for your support.

City Vision Endorses Mike Lee as Council Candidate for Waitemata Ward

City Vision Media Release

Friday, 18 June 2010

City Vision is pleased to endorse Mike Lee, Chair of the Auckland Regional Council, as our Council Candidate for the Waitemata & Gulf ward of the new Auckland Council.

City Vision Chair Robert Gallagher says “Mike Lee has over 15 years of public service as an elected councillor.  During his time at the ARC, and particularly through the last six years as Chairman, Mike has demonstrated strong regional leadership and his governance and management experience will be an invaluable asset to the new ‘Supercity’ structure.  His personal commitment to public ownership of key Auckland assets, public transport and regional parks has established a solid base to carry the new Council forward.”

Mike Lee is delighted to be endorsed by City Vision and pledges his support to their team standing for the Waitemata Local Board.  He will work closely with them.  “I have the vision and community connections to work with the entire mainland ward, from Westmere, to Parnell.  Despite the differing political histories of the areas each side of the CBD the communities have a lot in common.  The waterfront and commercial centres have special needs and I am keen to talk to the key people involved.

“My connections with the Gulf Island communities and environments are well known and I am looking forward to working for them.  I respect their proud independence but also know that they can benefit from the regional cohesion of the Supercity.

“As current Chair of the ARC, I am standing on my record – and the record is still playing.

We have begun the Waterfront development plan that will open up a wonderful public space that gives the people of the Waitemata & Gulf Ward a waterfront that they and all people in the region can be proud of.  My view on the value of public service is well known, and I intend to continue to work for regional cohesion and vision in the new Council, and ensure that we restore local community government and community solidarity with empowered local boards.”

Robert Gallagher says “At a time of great change in the nature power and form of local government in Auckland, Mike Lee’s experience is essential to ensure the Waitemata & Gulf Ward residents are strongly represented in the new city.  City Vision has a vigorous campaign planned to ensure that Mike Lee is elected to the Auckland Council as councillor for the Waitemata & Gulf ward.”

Additional Information:

Mike Lee, Msc(Hons), Chairman, ARC.  Former ship’s officer and passionate conservationist, Mike is a long-time Aucklander with a home on Waiheke Island.  He was first elected as a councillor 1992 and has an extensive history of public service in Auckland city and region since then.