Campaign opening celebrates arts and culture

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The skirl of bagpipes and the rhythm of Chinese drumming welcomed the Labour Party candidates standing for the Howick local board and Council with guest speaker, Mayoral candidate, Phil Goff, to a different and vital Campaign opening in Howick’s Chinatown on Saturday, August 20, 2016.

Seven local groups danced, sang and played music to approximately 100 guests who attended the Labour Howick Local Board campaign launch held at China Town in East Tamaki.

Community focus

The event which was open to the public, was an opportunity to “celebrate local arts and culture in Howick, but also to open a local board campaign launch to the public because that’s what local boards are about – the community,” Labour Howick Local Board candidate Alan Papprill says.

Some of the performances included an opening performance by local group EPACS Lion, Dragon Dance Group with a strong drum instrumental and a baby lion dance, and East Tamaki dance school RUSKE Performing Arts entertained with an upbeat jazz dance and a flowing lyrical piece.

Mr Papprill says, that along with the Bagpipes, played by Pakuranga resident John Mahoney and many other performances, “we were really impressed with the local talent in Howick, and really pleased to be able to give a platform for local arts in the area to showcase their talent and to celebrate the ethnic diversity that is Howick.”

Mayoral candidate, Phil Goff, was honoured to declare the Labour campaign for the Howick Ward open and said he was pleased “to open the Campaign for a Labour team that are competent, that are honest, that are hardworking and who will serve their community well.”

The Candidates

There are seven candidates standing for the Howick Local Board under a Labour Party ticket. Alan Papprill, Tofik Mamedov, Baljit Kaur, Gyanandra Kumar, Mark Johnson, Tania Mahoney and Allan Hawea are the candidates representing the growing diversity in East Auckland. Mr Papprill says Howick has changed into an ethnically and culturally diverse township “which our Labour ticket reflects and represents.”

If elected the Labour Howick Team want to provide more platforms and opportunities to celebrate “our unique diversity. That we should celebrate, treasure and preserve the many histories of Howick – Maori, Pakeha, Asian and Pasifika,” Mr Papprill says.

The Candidates are:

For Botany sub- division:

Baljit Kaur: Baljit works in insurance and has extensive experience in the care of the elderly. She is passionate about celebrating the cultural diversity of Howick.

Mark Johnson: Mark was a teacher at Botany Downs Secondary College before becoming a publisher with a young family here in Botany. Mark will be a keen advocate for the provision of greater community facilities in Botany so that families can gather and share their experiences in a welcoming place.

Gyanandra Kumar: Gyanandra is an executive officer with the Auckland Hospital Board. He has had experience in the police force and is passionate about public safety and believes that Howick deserves a greater focus on improving public safety and security. He is also standing for the Auckland Council.

For Pakuranga sub-division:

Allan Hawea: Allan is an ordained Anglican minister working in South Auckland. He is a strong advocate for the preservation of our heritage. He is very aware of the social problems that a responsive local board should be working to resolve.

Tania Mahoney: Tania is an accountant here in Pakuranga. She is a strong advocate for families and believes that Pakuranga needs to regain the community spirit that is the hallmark of a vibrant and caring society.

For the Howick Sub-Division:

Tofik Mamedov: Tofik has had extensive experience in banking, insurance and small business development. He stood as the Labour candidate in Botany at the last election. He is also standing for the Auckland Council. He is passionate about working to build the ethnically and culturally diverse society of Howick into a welcoming and accepting community.

Alan Papprill: Is a semi-retired secondary school teacher and education consultant. He taught at Howick College where, and at Edgewater College. He believes that the Howick Local Board needs to be accessible, visible and active in the community so that there is a greater sense of involvement and responsiveness to the needs of the people. As a member of the Local Board he, along with my colleagues, will be accessible and actively involved with the communities that are Howick.

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Photo Caption:

Phil Goff with Tania Mahoney

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