We need more passion, ambition and leadership to make Auckland everything it could be.

Our city is known by many names: Auckland, City of Sails, Tāmaki-makau-rau, but to me it will always be home. I am proud to have lived and worked in Auckland my whole life, seeing the city grow and change.

There is so much to love about our city - we've got some amazing beaches and outdoors, opportunities for entertainment and food, and the people - the incredible mix of cultures that makes our city so diverse. And East Auckland has all of this and more. Our area is one of the fastest growing parts of our city and us locals know why.

I love living in Botany but I’ve also had the privilege of travelling to some of the worlds greatest cities. Understanding what they've done overseas I can see the potential in our city but I’m frustrated by our lack of progress. The greatest challenge facing cities worldwide is leadership and Auckland is no different. Council elections this October are the perfect opportunity to review who is leading our city.

It will come as no surprise to most that I will be standing for one of the Howick seats on the Auckland Council.

I was humbled by and grateful for the support in last years by-election and look forward to building on this. While our city has made improvements, the issues I campaigned on last year remain a problem. My priorities are:

  • Fair share of rates. Auckland Council is making an unprecedented investment across Auckland and I'll ensure East Auckland is not left behind. I will challenge reckless spending, put the handbrake on endless rates rises and ensure cost effective delivery of services.

  • Deliver on transport. Resolving road safety concerns around our schools must be a priority including ending overcrowding on school buses, ensuring safe road crossings and options for walking and cycling. I will ensure the billions invested delivers on reducing congestion, improving safety and ensuring our transport is fit for a growing city.

  • Protect and restore our environment. We must make sure that development does not come at the cost of the environment. I will make sure council takes action to protect our community from climate change, flooding and erosion and work to restore our water quality and biodiversity.

  • Strong community voice. We must prevent issues like those surrounding Stockade Hill from happening again by improving communication between council and community. I will ensure that local voices are heard, that council is open, transparent and accountable and we embrace our multicultural and diverse community.

I’ve heard from people across our city that council needs to move faster on delivering change. It’s almost been 10 years since the super city was formed and progress is too slow.

For over a decade I’ve worked as a problem solver for large organisations, helping them improve outcomes for customers, staff and shareholders. This means understanding the issue from all sides, exploring options and working with people to implement meaningful change.

I have the business and governance experience, combined with strong community connections to deliver positive change for our city. With your support, I will provide the vision and leadership to tackle the tough issues, put in the hard work and ensure the people of East Auckland are heard at the council table.

Auckland is a fantastic place to live but we need more passion, ambition and leadership to make it everything it could be.

We can do better.

Damian Light