ARC Announces Chair
21 October 2004
The Auckland Regional Council is entering a new era which requires elected members to act collaboratively, to think
laterally and to provide strong leadership and direction.
That was the message delivered to the ARC’s inaugural meeting today by newly elected Chair, Mike Lee.
Mr Lee said electors had made it clear that they want a Council that listens to the community and acts responsibly.
He said the new ARC will be more accessible to the public. Council meetings will be moved from 4pm to 6pm to allow more
people to attend and hopefully become more involved in the direction of the Council and build on the consultation
processes. Council will also provide time for a public forum at the start of the ARC monthly meeting.
Mr Lee said Council members had been elected because of their position on particular issues. It was therefore important
that these be considered and that Councillors work collaboratively to deliver on them.
“Ratepayers can be sure that their concerns will be taken seriously.”
Mr Lee acknowledged that the future holds a number of challenges for the ARC, including the large monitoring and
governance role the Council will have with the newly established Auckland Regional Holdings (ARH) and Auckland Regional
Transport Authority (ARTA).
He said the new ARC will work cohesively and intelligently to make real progress on solving Auckland’s transport and
infrastructural problems. Environmental initiatives, particularly clean air and water, will also continue to be major
concerns for the ARC, as will regional development and growth.
At the Council meeting, former Rodney District Councillor and newcomer to the ARC, Christine Rose, was elected Deputy
Chair of the Council. She has nine years local body experience.
Other appointments included:
Chair of Environmental Management: Dianne Glenn
Deputy Chair: Paul Walbran
Chair of Finance: Wyn Hoadley
Deputy Chair: Robyn Hughes
Chair of Parks and Heritage: Sandra Coney
Deputy Chair: Christine Rose
Chair of Regional Strategy and Planning: Paul Walbran
Deputy Chair: Judith Bassett
Chair of Transport Policy: Joel Cayford
Deputy Chair: Michael Barnett
Judith Bassett remains Chair of Auckland Regional Holdings.
Mr Lee said each standing committee will comprise all Councillors.
“All Councillors will have the opportunity to input into the decision making, and I am confident that the committee
Chairs and Deputy Chairs will carry out their roles in a responsible and professional manner,” he said.
Biographies for the Chair’s are attached.
Judith Bassett was first elected to the ARC in 2001 representing Auckland City, and was Deputy Chair of the
Environmental Management Committee. She is a senior lecturer at Auckland University, teaching European and New Zealand
history. Judith chaired the ASB Trusts for 14 years, was a member of the Auckland Hospital Board and chaired the first
Area Health Board. She was awarded a QSO for Community Services in 1991. She also chairs Auckland Regional Holdings,
which manages the former Infrastructure Auckland assets. She is married with two adult children and one granddaughter.
Joel Cayford is beginning his first term at the ARC after six years as councillor at North Shore City Council, where he
was Chair of the Works and Environment Committee and Chair of the Northern Busway project. He was also a Watercare
shareholder representative. Joel has a passion for water and transport issues and is editor of www.watermagazine.com, a
website about urban water issues. He was a national working party member of the Ministry for Environment SWIM (Sewage & Wastewater Integrated Management) programme, and is currently a member of the Landcare Research Low Impact Urban Design
(stormwater) project, and an executive member of Traffinz, the Traffic Institute of New Zealand.
Sandra Coney has represented Waitakere on the ARC since 2001, and served as Deputy Chair of the Parks and Heritage
Committee. Sandra is passionate about the long-term protection of the Waitakere Ranges and during her first term was
involved in the political liaison group that heard local concerns about the effects of inappropriate development in the
ranges. Sandra has been a journalist, writer and executive director of Women’s Health Action Trust. She is the author of
History of Piha and the Piha website. Sandra continues the heritage of her father Tom Pearce, a former ARC chairman, who
served from 1965 to 1976.
Dianne Glenn is serving her third term as councillor for the Franklin-Papakura constituency. Dianne served as Deputy
Chair, Strategic Policy in her last term of office and Deputy Chair, Parks and Recreation in her first term, from 1998 –
2001. Dianne maintains close links with community groups and believes in empowering the community to sustainably manage
the environment, in partnership with the ARC.
Robyn is a newcomer to the council, representing Manukau. She has wide experience as a manager of health and disability
services and is a manager at Middlemore Hospital. Robyn has campaigned to reduce regional rates. She wants to see a
switch of transport funds from motorways to buses, trains and ferries, and to convene citizens’ assemblies on rates,
transport and the environment.
Wyn is beginning her first term as councillor at the ARC, representing the North Shore. She is a barrister and
long-serving North Shore city councillor and former Mayor of Takapuna. She is Chair of the National Animal Ethics
Advisory Committee and Chancellor of Auckland University of Technology. She is patron and trustee for various North
Shore performing arts, sport and community organisations. She is married to Steve, and has two adult children. Wyn is
the recipient of the NZ 1990 Commemoration Medal, the NZ Suffrage Centennial Medal 1993 and is a Companion of the
Queen’s Service Order for Public Services (QSO).
Mike Lee is now into his fifth term as an ARC councillor representing Auckland City, and was first elected in a
by-election early in 1992. He was re-elected to the ARC in October the same year. Mike served as chair of the Parks
Committee from 1992-95 and oversaw the acquisition of Whakanewha Regional Park on Waiheke, Duder Regional Park at
Umupuia, and also oversaw additions to the Hunua Regional Parklands (the Cashmore Block) and the Waitakere Ranges ('Te
Pae o Te Rangi' and the Manchester Unity Block at Parau). As Chairman of Parks he also led negotiations with the
government of the day, persuading it to cancel plans to sell Hamlins Hill to enable this land to be managed as parkland.
Mike believes transport is the major issue facing Auckland and wants to speed up improvements to rail services, and
would like to see the re-opening of the Onehunga Branch line as the first stage of a high-speed rail service to the
airport. A former ships officer, he holds a MSc in biological sciences.
Christine is a newcomer to the ARC, representing Rodney. For the last nine years she was a councillor on Rodney District
Council, where she was chair of various committees and has been Deputy Mayor. She holds degrees in political studies and
philosophy and has a certificate in environmental law. Christine is passionate about the arts and the environment and
has initiated campaigns to save the rare Maui's dolphin, found only on the west coast of Auckland. She is a strong
supporter of regional parks and mainland islands.
Paul is beginning his third term as an ARC councillor, representing Waitakere. He was first elected in 1992 and served
as ARC Deputy Chair from from 1992-95. Paul is a small business owner and environmental advocate. He is Chairman of the
Environmental Advisory Group to Watercare and President of the Manukau Harbour Protection Society.