Staff Reporter –
A popular community worker from West Auckland says that the City need a change in leadership not only at the top but also at the governance level to meet the growing challenges and shift in population dynamics.
Anne Degia-Pala who is contesting the local government elections as an independent candidate at the Whau Ward, said that the growing diversity of Auckland calls for a ‘broader leadership.’
“The Auckland Council, where strategic decisions are made, fails miserably to represent diversity,” she said.
“I am standing for people first and will not be towing any party politics. I hope to work with all groups, to make decisions without bias, taking into account social, cultural, environmental and economic matters for the benefit of all Aucklanders,” she added.
Ms Pala said that as a resident of Auckland for the past 30 years, she sees the ‘larger picture’ of the City, its problems, challenges and needs and the ways and means of serving all ethnic groups.
“We should be ‘vocal about local and beyond.’ I am familiar with the challenges faced by many communities in Whau Ward. We deserve a peaceful Auckland where crime and safety of all people is a priority. We also need good employment, housing and an economic base from where all families can progress their futures,” she said.
Ms Pala said that she would campaign for the well-being of children and their education, youth training and well-paid employment. The livelihood of our children, younger members of the society and the elderly should be further enriched in this potential urbanisation,” she said.
Stating that rising prices of houses has eroded the affordability of people, she advocated social housing and fixing the growing traffic congestion.
As a community and social development practitioner, she is passionate about building community resilience and collaborates with communities for a progressive Auckland.
Ms Pala has been involved in civic bodies for more than 20 years.
She has worked closely with Maori and Pacific communities and is a past Chair of the Waitakere Ethnic Board, a Founding Member of the Auckland Council Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel and a recipient of the Queen Service Medal for services to women and children. She is also an anti-violence and human rights advocate.
A resident of Kelston, Ms Pala owns an IT company with her partner.
She is a volunteer at many Not-for-Profit agencies and currently serve on the Board of WaterSafe Auckland Inc, NixCrew Road Safety Trust and Family First Welfare Trust.
The Whau Territory
The Whau boundary includes Avondale, Blockhouse Bay, Glen Eden, Green Bay, Kelston, New Lynn, and New Windsor.
Elections to the local government will be conducted by postal vote from September 16, 2016. Eligible voters who have not enrolled may do so by calling 0800-922822 or online the Electoral Commission website www.elections.org.nz