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

Mike Lee backs the City Vision team for the Waitemata Local Board

Media Release
City Vision – Waitemata Local Board Team

Mike Lee, Chairman of the Auckland Regional Council and Candidate for the Waitemata and Gulf Ward has given his strong backing to the City Vision Team standing for the Waitemata Local Board. Waitemata  is one of the most contested Local Boards of the 21 in the new Super City structure, with 23 Candidates standing for 7 vacancies. The City Vision Waitemata Local Board team welcomes the endorsement from such a high profile and experienced politician.

In giving his support, on his website Mike Lee says “The City Vision team has a marvellous balance of youth and experience.  To my mind their personalities, professional backgrounds, life experiences and political philosophies make an excellent fit for what will be one of the most important Local Boards in the Super City.

Mr Lee goes on to say “This is a team well worth watching – and supporting”

Bruce Kilmister, Kate Stanton and Christopher Dempsey all are currently serving on Community Boards with extensive experience of local government and involvement in local issues.

Jesse Chalmers, a company director, one of the youngest candidates standing, is the new generation of local politics.

Tricia Reade is a well-known Ponsonby resident through her work at the Ponsonby Community Centre and City Fringe Inc.

Pippa Coom, a corporate lawyer is involved with a number of community groups that focus on building vibrant, sustainable neighbourhoods.

Shale Chambers,  a Ponsonby lawyer and company director, brings business experience to local issues.

Shale Chambers on behalf of the team says “Mike Lee will be a strong voice at the top table, with his public service experience and track record he is the ideal candidate to serve as the Councillor for the Waitemata and Gulf Ward and fully has our support. The City Vision Waitemata Local Board team is thrilled that Mike Lee has given us such firm backing and we look forward to working with him for a prosperous, secure, fair, and sustainable future for the CBD and all our central city communities.”

Mike Lee will join the City Vision Waitemata Local Board team for Meet the Candidates Evenings being held in the Waitemata Local board area on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th September.

More details about the City Vision Waitemata Local Board team here.


Shale Chambers  0274765284

Mike Lee 0274943198

Meet the candidates evenings for the Waitemata Ward and Local Board:

Tuesday 7 September at 7pm, Parnell Community Centre, Jubilee Building, 545 Parnell Rd. Hosted by Parnell, Newmarket and Grafton community groups

Wednesday 8 September at 7.30pm, Grey Lynn Community Centre hosted by Grey Lynn 2030

Auckland’s first 21st Century Cycle Event

Cycle Style Auckland

Conventional thinking says you can’t ride a bike without looking like a dork. Conventional thinking is wrong.

The streets are filling up with cyclists and one reason it’s happening is that people have realised that it is entirely possible to look very good on a bike- stylish, in fact.

Not only that but if you haven’t been in a bike shop in the last few years, you will not believe how much things have changed.

The bikes themselves are now considered fashion items and very desirable accessories. Designers are using bicycles to convey a chic, urban stylish city lifestyle.   You can still get yourself a perfectly good basic bike for a few hundred dollars, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can spend thousands to buy yourself something quite breathtaking. In car terms, bikes today are on offer in models and looks that range all the way from a Toyota Corolla to a Mini Cooper and on to a Lamborghini.

What this means is that the streets are changing. Aucklanders, in their thousands, are taking to their bikes for every day transport in every day clothes.

On Thursday 1st July, Frocks on Bikes in association with Cycle Action Auckland responds to this worldwide trend with a unique event called “Cycle Style Auckland” – an evening of gorgeous bicycles, fabulous fashion and this season’s ‘must-have’ cycle accessories.

A highlight of the evening will be the first Cycle Style Fashion Show to be presented in New Zealand, featuring local fashion designers, bicycle retailers and street style.

Frocks on Bikes (Auckland) Co-Coordinator, Pippa Coom says “Cycle Style Auckland is a perfect opportunity to showcase the stylish side of cycling. Cycling in stylish street wear is considered the norm in many cities around the world where there has been investment in cycle-friendly facilities. Women in particular are put off cycling when it is associated with sweaty lycra and unattractive clothes.  Frocks on Bikes is committed to showing that it is possible to use a bike for every day transport and look stylish.”

“Cycle Style Auckland” will include the glitterati of the cycling world, transport policy makers and the politicians who can commit funding to improving Auckland’s cycling infrastructure. However, the evening is promoted strongly for new cyclists, and also existing cyclists looking for a change of pace, who will be able to test ride a wide range of stylish gents and ladies bicycles and be up for winning a range of fabulous prizes.

The evening starts at 6pm at Shed 1, 101 Halsey St, Viaduct Harbour (ex-Team NZ shed) with drinks and nibbles. Valet bicycle parking and free maintenance check are available for those arriving by bike.

RSVPs are essential – tickets to Cycle Style are free but limited – by registering at Frocks on Bikes – Auckland page. (

Frocks on Bikes Media Release

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.

AECT Election: The Power is With the Community

Press Release: Grey Lynn 2030

28 October 2009

With only 2 days remaining in the AECT election a disappointing 14.65% of eligible voters have so far returned postal ballots to decide the 5 trustees of the Trust. At the same time in the 2003 election the turnout was only slightly better at 17.5%. Independent Candidate Pippa Coom, a lawyer who previously worked at Vector, visited nearly the whole Trust area over the course of her campaign and found a high level of ignorance about the Trust and very little awareness about the election.

“The election has given me the opportunity to attend community meetings all over Manukau City. It has convinced me that you can’t beat face to face communication with the beneficiaries of the Trust. I have been overwhelmed by the warm reception I have received and if elected will be heading straight back to South Auckland to start a conversation about what the community could best do with the $98m dividend”

“I feel very fortunate to have been made redundant from Vector at the beginning of the year. Without that push I would not have thrown myself into working for the transition town movement through Grey Lynn 2030 nor with the support of Grey Lynn 2030 pursued the idea to run as an independent candidate with aim of putting community into the Trust and setting a sustainable direction for Vector.” said Ms Coom

Suzanne Kendrick, steering committee member has really seen Grey Lynn 2030 grow from strength to strength in the first year of the group. “In only one year we have achieved so much through practical action in our community. We now have about 800 supporters on our contact list. The Grey Lynn Farmers Market is one of our biggest success stories. From one of our monthly meetings volunteers got together to make it happen and after 8 weeks of being open, the market is hugely popular for locals and is already running at a profit. We have other groups focusing on stream restoration, minimising waste, community gardens, traffic calming – all through a shared positive vision to make our community sustainable.” said Ms Kendrick

“If Pippa gets elected – and if the feedback I am receiving is anything to go by it is looking very likely that she will become a new trustee – it will be fantastic way to celebrate Grey Lynn 2030’s first anniversary. It will really show what can be achieved in the community when a group of people decide to make an idea a reality – after all it all comes back to us as a community, we have to appreciate how much power is in the hands of the community if people get into action” said Ms Kendrick.

Media Release: Voters not aware of their valuable asset

Only 21% of eligible voters cast their votes in the last election for the trustees of the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust in 2006.  This low turnout is surprising because the asset of the Trust is worth approximately $1.5 billion – a 75.1% holding in Vector Ltd. The Trust received a $98 million dividend from its shareholding in Vector.  The low turnout is because power bill holders are unaware of the fact they are beneficiaries of the Trust and the important role that the trustees play in managing such a sizeable asset on behalf of electricity consumers. 
Voting papers will be arriving in mail boxes in the Trust district from Friday 16 October and independent candidate, Ms Coom is taking steps to ensure that voters know about the election by visiting all of the super city–sized voting district over the next two weeks.
“It’s always harder for an independent to get elected but I think it is worthwhile getting out there so that voters know about their Trust, their ownership of a valuable and essential power asset as well as their option to vote for a credible, community focused, non-political candidate as one of the five Trustees” said Ms Coom, a corporate lawyer, most recently at Vector Ltd.   “Quite frankly, I have no idea why the political parties are so involved in these kinds of elections – especially for a non-political issue such as electricity supply.  I would have thought the main criteria for elect-ability was competence to address relevant issues rather than association with voting blocs” she said.
Trust beneficiaries have recently been paid a dividend of $320 by the Trust but the majority are still confused about where it comes from. Common misconceptions are that the money is paid by retail companies, the defunct power board or even one of the party tickets.
 “We are entering a unique period in Auckland’s governance history with the implementation of the super city structure.  I think it is vitally important that Auckland’s energy consumers have someone on the board of trustees who is able to think about what is best for their interests without having to follow party allegiances” said Ms Coom.

Media Release

Transition Town Candidate to contest AECT election

Thursday 17 September 2009

Community candidate challenges Vector’s sustainability path

A corporate lawyer with experience working for regulated industries will stand as an independent candidate in this year’s election for trustees to the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust.

Pippa Coom, who has worked for Vector Limited, which is majority owned by the Trust, is also the first member of the Transition Town movement to stand for public office.

“I have the skills and experience to be an effective trustee. As the only independent community candidate I am committed to maintaining the Auckland electricity assets of Vector in community ownership and ensuring that Vector is in the best position to respond to the current environmental challenges ” says  Ms Coom.

Pippa Coom launched her campaign for election at the monthly meeting of Grey Lynn 2030:Transition Community, which is part of the international Transition Towns movement.

Suzanne Kendrick, Grey Lynn 2030 steering committee member who is supporting Pippa’s campaign says

“We are very pleased to support an independent community candidate for a community trust.

“It is in the interests of the beneficiaries of the trust – all those with a power bill in greater Auckland, – that the trustees be a good representation of us all and bring a diversity of perspectives to the decisions the Trust makes”

“Business as usual’ in today’s world is not an option as we transition to a low carbon economy and toward more benign methods of energy production, distribution and use. Pippa, through her background with the Transition movement will bring this vital, but currently missing, perspective to the Trust as a trustee” Ms Kendrick said

The election for the five trustees is scheduled from 15 October by postal ballot, with polling day on 30 October.