Why I’m standing as a Papanui Ward candidate

Commentary: I am a Papanui Ward candidate in the 2019 local authority elections. This isn’t my first governance experience – I’ve had a number of board roles, and was a Papanui Ward candidate in the 2016 election. So why am I putting myself forward for this position at this time?

Simon Britten 2019 Flyer 1

I value a connected community that cares for all of its members, and am passionate about making a contribution through an elected role in Papanui.

What is a ‘connected community’?

It’s healthy for individuals and whānau/families to live in relationship with others. I see a connected community as one where people know and care for each other. Individuals and organisations all play a part in this, including our Council and Community Board who contribute:

  • Facilities
  • Urban design
  • Events
  • Resourcing* for community organisations

*Resourcing includes funding, but also a wide range of other valuable supports, including facilitating networking meetings and leadership events, and providing advice and guidance.

How do I contribute to our community?

Since 2016 I’ve been running the Think Papanui community engagement initiative. Think Papanui is an information source focused on the Papanui Ward, and aims to share information on City Council consultations, Community Board agenda items and decisions, local projects in action, and generally what’s happening in the community. This has helped keep the community informed – and has also helped me keep in touch with local government and with our community.

I have had the privilege of working in a leadership role at Papanui-based youth and community development organisation Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi since 2011. For a large part of that time I’ve been involved with the school attendance service, supporting children, whānau/families, and schools. I’ve also worked in areas including youth employment and alternative education.

Previously I worked for Tait Communications in marketing management, and have volunteered with the Papanui Youth Development Trust. I have served on boards including the Papanui Baptist Freedom Trust, Pillars – the charity working nationally with children of prisoners, and the Casebrook Intermediate School Board of Trustees. I am a previous Vodafone Foundation World of Difference recipient, and have completed two Canterbury University postgraduate courses for leaders in the community sector.

So why stand for election?

I really value our community, and I enjoy working in a strategic role. I see an elected position in local government as the perfect way to bring these things together. I have a track record in governance and would value your vote in the upcoming election.

Frequently asked questions

When is the election?
The election date is Saturday 12 October 2019. Postal voting will be open for a few weeks prior.

How do people ensure they are registered to vote?
On the Electoral Commission website you can check your enrolment details, or enrol if you haven’t done so already. You can also contact the Electoral Commission by phone on 0800 36 76 56. The 16th of August 2019 is the deadline to enrol or update your details in order to be posed voting papers – if you enrol after that date you can still participate through the special voting process.

What and where exactly is ‘Papanui Ward’?
Papanui Ward includes the suburbs of Papanui, Northcote, and Redwood, and also parts of St Albans, Bryndwr, Casebrook…

So what are your policies? Your values?
‘Connected community’ as I’ve described it in this article is the key one. I’ll be writing more between now and the election about other values and policies that are important to me.

Is there more information online about you?
Yes! See the ‘About Simon’ page here on simonbritten.com. You’re also welcome to contact me, and there will be opportunities during the election campaign to meet both in person and online.

Question for readers

Do you have any questions or feedback for me? Feel free to comment below, or contact me directly.