Indian seeks seat on Howick Board

Venkat Raman –

A young health professional of Indian origin is seeking to serve on the Howick Local Board (Botany Subdivision), voting for which commenced on January 24 and is set to conclude on February 17, 2017.

Nivedita Sharma Vij is contesting as an Independent in the by-election caused by the dramatic resignation of Lucy Schwaner (wife of Jami-Lee Ross, elected MP from Botany and Junior Whip of the National government) just a month after the local board election held on October 8, 2016.

Community governance

Ms Vij said that she is aware of the challenges that the job of a local board member entails and that she is prepared to face them.

“I will work for transparent and effective governance to advocate and acknowledge core community needs. I will ensure respect for all voices of our communities and that people’s suggestions are included in the local board decision making process. I want to support Botany residents and their families so that they enjoy life as per their aspirations,” she said.

Married with two children, Ms Vij migrated to New Zealand from her native India in 2002. A Justice of the Peace, she has community governance experience in a number of organisations including the Manukau East Council of Social Services, Manukau Indian Association, Bhartiya Samaj, Rotary Club and Khushi, a project of Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust.

Lofty goals

Ms Vij said that her vision for the Local Board is an inclusive and safer society, recognition and celebration of diversity, equal opportunity for all and healthier and holistic environment.

We need to take pride for all good work and be honest and ready for challenges it entails. Let us make our Auckland a great place to live, work and play. Together in partnership, we will address the concerns effecting our present, our future and the stability of all our residents,” she said.

Her catchment area for local board includes Flat Bush, East Tamaki, East Tamaki Heights and Ormiston. The Subdivision has 36,000 enrolled electors including around 200 new voters who turned 18 since the main local body elections were held three months ago.

Mandatory Registration

Electoral Officer Dale Ofsoske said that any person who has not registered to vote should do so by requesting for a special vote.

“It is a simple process. Please call the Electoral Office on (09) 9735212 or 0800- 922 822. Ballot boxes and special votes are available at Botany Library, Level 1, Sunset Terrace, Botany Town Centre or at the Electoral Office, Independent Election Services Ltd, Level 2, 198 Federal Street, Auckland,” he said.

There are six other candidates contesting for the single seat. They are Mark Johnson (Labour), Malcolm Page (Independent), Julie Patterson (Independent), Ailian Su (Independent), Mike Turinsky (Practical Not Political) and Kuan Cheong Yap (Independent).

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Photo Caption:

Nivedita Sharma Vij

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