Meeting Room:



Thursday 15 September 2022


Council Chamber
Orewa Service Centre
50 Centreway Road


Hibiscus and Bays Local Board






ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                         PAGE


27        Valedictory reflection: end of term address

A.      Valedictory Reflections - J Fitzgerald                                                                    3

B.      Reflections on service as an Elected Member - G Holmes                                   5

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board

15 September 2022



Janet Fitzgerald - Valedictory address to the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board Business Meeting 15 September 2022

When I started  preparing for today, I came across my old school reports. When I opened then up, I found many comments from teachers saying  that I was always helping other people and dogs. I reflected on that and thought that has been a theme of my Local Government experience.

Going back a long time, we had an application in with Rodney District Council. When they turned us down and I could not work out why.  So, my decision was  that I would attend Rodney District Council meetings, pick up their agendas,  listen to how they conducted their meetings and how they made the decisions that they came to. I did this. Sometime later, I gathered all the information together.  In the meantime, I asked why my application had been turned down sand was advised that it was just not my lucky day. We gathered all my information together and we went back, and we won. So, for 2 years, I sat in every council meeting. There were five regular people who came to all the council meetings, from different ratepayer groups. We would discuss the meetings. A vacancy appeared  for the Hibiscus area, in 1991. I knew the ins and outs of the Rodney sewerage systems and waterways. They called for expressions of interest, so we had to appear before the Council with a CV. I was appointed to the Hibiscus extension of Rodney District Council, because the people sitting round the table said, “She knows as much as we do.”

I then attended Rodney District Council meetings and got elected to Rodney District. They were interesting times, and when you reflect back to what a local board does to what a council does, they are completely different… We were very transparent; we could not have meetings where we discussed things like we do in workshops. Councilors at that time had to know and understand all the Acts we worked under. You did make recommendations to the Council, who came up with the right result. I believe that was a very good way to run a council. Then we had the turmoil of councilor, who got on, with a determination to destroy Rodney District. Sadly, the council was dismissed, and a commissioner was put in place. Democracy is about people, not about us, sitting round a table and fighting. So, I resigned. And then the Local Government minister effectively sacked those who did not resigned.

After that I got involve in Penlink. I put everything I had into trying to get Penlink for Whangaparoa. They were widening the road between Red Beach and Whangaparoa, when I was a volunteer driver with Silverdale RSA,  it took me six hours to reach my destination. I arranged a venue, some donations, and a sign.  We asked the Leisure Centre to let us have meeting outside but were asked to go inside, in case of rain. Lots of people helped.  The sign was  way over regulation, moved it around on a little van.  Over600 attended. Four of us elected to Pen Link forward and never stopped since. The others were happy to support. We travelled to Wellington to talk to minister and attend Select Committee. I went on and on. We did all we could. Occasionally someone did not want Pen Link, we were positive.

I look back at the things I achieved by communicating round the table.  I played a part in helping people to get fix their own problems. Local boards are a good way to do this. This empowering your community to do positive things. In Rodney District Council I showed a colleague how to approach issues.   By telling residents how to tell the Council what they wanted, they were able to  have their footpath jumped  from 25 on the list to Number one.

My time is up in Local Government, I cannot continue, as  I am not well. This has been a difficult term because of the lack of face-to-face meetings, which is not transparent, as compared to face-to-face meetings. Hopefully Covid is past. The local board needs to be transparent and inclusive. Thank you . for this opportunity. I am now Looking forward to spending time with those I care about.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board

15 September 2022



Reflections on Local Government involvement – G Holmes

·    I have been a Candidate in every local election since 1989.


·    I served one term on a community board, followed by three terms on the North Shore City Council (with three years off for good behavior during the Andrew Williams mayoralty), and then four terms on the Local Board.


·    Campaigning in the good old days was all  about flyers, billboard, door knocking and erecting signs at 5am, whereas now a lot of it is on Face Book...


·    Local Government has changed too when compared to community board days, where elected members made not only notification decisions but also determined approvals and conditions.


·    In the North Shore City Council years under the leadership of Mayor George Wood, we achieved a lot, including the Long Bay development, the Northern Busway, getting on top of sewage issues, and the introduction of development contributions.


·    My Local Board involvement has focused on Local Board plans regarding:

o connected communities

o strong local economy

o protected and enhanced environment

o open spaces to enjoy

o transport choices.


·    Outcomes which I am proud to have supported include

o support for environmental initiatives.

o Mairangi Bay Reserve Management Plan

o development of the Browns Bay Centre Plan and beginning to progress projects

o support for Silverdale BID

o Glenvar Rd improvements

o Penlink.


·    I take the opportunity of thanking the staff and Lesley in particular.


·    Thanks also to my fellow to local board Members, as follows:

o Leanne and Andy, I thank you for your involvement and dedication to your local communities, and also for Andy always being  so cheerful

o Janet, I thank you for your commitment to Penlink and your commonsense approach to things and your support in respect to Resource Consent applications. Also, thanks to you, for your past role as Deputy Chair.

o Gary Brown, I thank you for chairing in your first term as a local board member and for your positivity toward the Mayoral race

o Victoria and Alexis, you are two young ladies who have both contributed with energy, ideas, hard work. I share another thing in common with  both of them, we all  survived working with Murray McCully.

o Julia, you have been with me for my entire journey in North Shore politics. While we have not always seen eye to eye, you have always been a great support and I value your friendship.


·    Finally, I would like to give my best wishes to all my fellow members for your election campaigns.