With only 2 days remaining in the AECT election a disappointing 14.65% of eligible voters have so far returned postal ballots to decide the 5 trustees of the Trust. At the same time in the 2003 election the turnout was only slightly better at 17.5%. Independent Candidate Pippa Coom, a lawyer who previously worked at Vector, visited nearly the whole Trust area over the course of her campaign and found a high level of ignorance about the Trust and very little awareness about the election.
“Voter apathy is a real concern but can be explained by the fact most people do not realise they are beneficiaries of a Trust which this year received income of $98m and has an asset valued at approximately $1.5bn. The current Trustees have clearly not being doing enough to communicate their role and to justify excessive Trustee fees” said Ms Coom
“The election has given me the opportunity to attend community meetings all over Manukau City. It has convinced me that you can’t beat face to face communication with the beneficiaries of the Trust. I have been overwhelmed by the warm reception I have received and if elected will be heading straight back to South Auckland to start a conversation about what the community could best do with the $98m dividend”
“I feel very fortunate to have been made redundant from Vector at the beginning of the year. Without that push I would not have thrown myself into working for the transition town movement through Grey Lynn 2030 nor with the support of Grey Lynn 2030 pursued the idea to run as an independent candidate with aim of putting community into the Trust and setting a sustainable direction for Vector.” said Ms Coom
Suzanne Kendrick, steering committee member has really seen Grey Lynn 2030 grow from strength to strength in the first year of the group. “In only one year we have achieved so much through practical action in our community. We now have about 800 supporters on our contact list. The Grey Lynn Farmers Market is one of our biggest success stories. From one of our monthly meetings volunteers got together to make it happen and after 8 weeks of being open, the market is hugely popular for locals and is already running at a profit. We have other groups focusing on stream restoration, minimising waste, community gardens, traffic calming – all through a shared positive vision to make our community sustainable.” said Ms Kendrick
“If Pippa gets elected – and if the feedback I am receiving is anything to go by it is looking very likely that she will become a new trustee – it will be fantastic way to celebrate Grey Lynn 2030’s first anniversary. It will really show what can be achieved in the community when a group of people decide to make an idea a reality – after all it all comes back to us as a community, we have to appreciate how much power is in the hands of the community if people get into action” said Ms Kendrick