Lead the city you love

24th June 2016

Lead the City You Love

In October this year Aucklanders will go to the polls to choose a new Mayor, councillors and local board members. On 17th July nominations will open for candidates for the Auckland council elections and the Auckland Council is encouraging Aucklanders to "Lead the city you love". The Auckland Council’s community engagement lead Katie Watson says that the Council wants to do everything they can to support communities in accessing all the information they need to stand as a candidate.

You can watch the candidate video on to get some ideas about why you should consider standing as a candidate. It’s available in English (with closed captions), and also with the following subtitles: Hindi, Chinese, Samoan, Te Reo and Korean. The candidate video is also available in NZSL. You can find more information about the process of standing for Council in the Candidate booklet, entitled "Lead the City you Love" which is available in both text and audio version.

Sharon DaviesWe spoke with Be. Leadership Alumna Sharon Davies who has worked for Council in different roles for almost 9 years, 6 years in her current role as PA to one of the west Local Boards and prior to this she was EA to the Deputy Mayor at Waitakere City Council.

This is what she had to say about why you should consider standing for a council role:

If you’re thinking of standing for a position in the upcoming Auckland Council elections, first and foremost you must have a desire to serve your community, have an understanding of a range of issues that impact on Auckland regionally and locally and have a basic knowledge of the difference between what is governance and what is operational. Often these lines get blurred and causes confusion for elected members. However Council staff provide support and training, in particular for those who are successful in being elected for the first time. To be able to stand for election you need to be over 18, on the electoral role and be a New Zealand citizen.

If you tick these boxes and you think a role like this is for you, Sharon suggests you attend either a Governing Body (Council) or a Local Board meeting to see democracy in action. You could also start having conversations with local people in your community to find out what is important to them.

Sharon says that being part of Council either at a regional level or local level can be very rewarding. Sharon was a member of the then Waitakere Community Board from 2004-2007. She enjoyed acting as an advocate between her local community and council. She continues to provide support in the democracy space albeit from a slightly different angle now as a Council employee in her role as PA / Board Liaison to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board.