New and known faces look at community representation

Anne Pala

Anne Degia-Pala, a well-known community worker based in West Auckland is contesting with Labour Party for the Henderson-Massey Local Board.

With a sound knowledge of the needs of the West Auckland community with which she has been associated in various capacities for almost 25 years, Anne has what it takes to represent people.

“I am keen to serve the people of my area, work collaboratively with everyone concerned and make a positive difference,” she said.

Anne is also passionate about family values and believes in offering love and care not only to her spouse and daughter, but also to the younger members of the society in general. Her business acumen has been proved in a large measure over the years.

She believes in a progressive and inclusive Auckland.

“We need to have as many voices represented at local level as possible. Ethnic contributions shape Auckland, therefore it is absolutely critical that we convey our message by voting in the local elections for issues that affect our diverse communities. I will work hard to create opportunities for our families and young people, for affordable housing, to push for better transport options and stand up for improved futures for all,” she said.

She is the only Indian woman at the Ethnic People’s Advisory Panel established by the Auckland Council about three years ago. She is also a Governance Board Member of WaterSafe Auckland, a Member of the Waitakere Community Police Reference Group and a Board Member of Funding Information Service in Wellington.

She also contributes to the Care and Resource Protection Panel of Child, Youth and Family, Waitakere and is a Past President of the Waitakere Ethnic Board. She established NixCrew in 2002 to promote road safety awareness.

The Government recognised her services to the community and awarded her a Queen’s Service Medal in 2007.

Dr Ashraf Choudhary

Dr Ashraf Choudhary, a Local Council candidate and Team Papatoetoe leader believes that community safety works best when it is community driven and led in partnership with government agencies and Auckland Council resources, focused on ensuring safe communities.

“Team Papatoetoe will strongly advocate for the development and implementation of policies and planning on community safety in Papatoetoe, minimising and managing the negative effects on our community around alcohol harm; prostitution; graffiti vandalism; legal highs, and anti-social behaviour,” he said.

According to him, Team Papatoetoe will strongly advocate for controlling liquor outlets and promote local alcohol policy, ensuring safe, healthy and strong Papatoetoe communities.

“This reflects the new Sale and Supply of Liquor Act 2012, which authorises all Councils to implement new alcohol and licensing laws and develop a local alcohol policy for their region,” Dr Choudhary said.

Neelam Choudary

Although an ardent supporter and tireless worker of Labour Party, Neelam Choudary is contesting as an Independent candidate to win a seat at the Botany subdivision of Howick Local Board.

She believes that the changing demographics of Botany (currently accounting for 45% of its population born overseas), deserves a new and inclusive voice. A strong advocate of family values, she believes in preserving culture and heritage of different nationalities.

“Botany has been my hometown since I migrated from India with my family several years ago. I have built my relationship with the communities here and would like them to become stronger, resilient and self-reliant through education programmes organised by associations and groups with which I am involved. I owe it to the people of this Ward for the care, affection and attention that they have bestowed upon me and I believe that I can serve them better by being their representative on the Local Board,” Mrs Choudary said.

A social and community worker, she played an important role in the efforts of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust to provide a culturally appropriate retirement home for South Asians through Bupa Care services (Indian Newslink, December 15, 2012 and January 15, 2013). She conducts voluntary yoga classes for Botany residents.

She works closely with the Botany-Flatbush Residents and Ratepayers Association advocating for children’s playground in Toplands and a bigger Town Hall for Flat Bush, Ormiston and Botany residents. She is also a strong supporter of the efforts to reopen the Ormiston Community Market.

“If elected, I will regularly consult with the members of the resident communities, listen to their concerns and work towards their welfare. I will also work with the other local Board Members and Councillors to resolve local issues,” she said.

Mrs Choudary said that she would oppose rates increases above inflation and campaign for prudent public spending.

She has taken a strong stance in addressing Auckland’s transport and housing problems and contribute to towards making it the world’s most liveable city.

Dr Javed Chaudhary

Hamiltonians will know Javed Chaudhry as a man who regards every human being with respect and concern. He has also been involved in many community and welfare projects and programmes.

He is a candidate for East Ward Councillor (Hamilton City Council) and for the Waikato District Health Board.

Migrating to New Zealand in 1994 from his native Pakistan, Mr Chaudhry spent two years in Palmerston North before moving to Waikato. A postgraduate (Masters) Degree in Science (with Honours), he worked as a scientist and thereafter launched his career in business.

His extensive experience in governance and managerial roles in a number of community organisations in Hamilton for more than ten years has earned him wide popularity. He was nominated for the ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’ in 2010.

His campaign for the Council includes Parks for families, affordable housing, a new rating system, revitalising CBD, better swimming facilities, arts and culture, community collaboration, saving heritage buildings and allowing free entry to Hamilton Gardens. As a Member of the Waikato District Health Board, he is keen to train and retain the welfare of all staff, rewarding loyalty and skills and acknowledging the dedication and sacrifices made by many people.

Shail Kaushal


The Roskill Community Voice launched its campaign with its first hoarding going up in Mt Roskill (Auckland) recently. Shail Kaushal, arguably the youngest candidate to contest in the local election, received a warm welcome by a Somerset Road resident, who said, “You are the first candidate I have met in the last 23 years.”

He is upbeat about his Ward, which comprises Mt Roskill, Three Kings, Hillsborough, Waikowhai, Lynfield and Wesley. “I am privileged to be standing for the Puketapapa Local Board under Roskill Community Voice, the banner of City Vision, a coalition of Labour, Green and Progressive Community Independents,” he said.

The line-up includes Julie Fairey, Harry Doig, Garth Houltham, Michael Wood and Shail Kaushal. The team is campaigning on Burying the Pylons, Bringing Rail to Roskill, upgrading Roskill town centre shops, restoration of Big King Maunga of Three Kings, and closely working with local businesses to provide apprenticeships to youth.

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