Yesterday, my friend Richard Hills made his maiden speech as the newly elected Councillor for Auckland’s North Shore Ward (the other Councillor, Chris Darby, with whom he ran as a team, was re-elected). It was a good speech, and I wanted to share it, so why not make this the first “Worth Quoting” post featuring someone I actually know?
The video above is the entire first part of the day, and the start of his speech is at 11:41. Or, the video's on YouTube, and the link will go to the correct spot. Richard also posted his speech on Medium, where it be read in its entirety.
But I wanted to share part of it here:
I’m committed to working for better more efficient public transport, Shore Rail, more safe cycling and walking connections including Skypath, addressing climate change, the housing crisis and homelessness, protecting our parks, beaches, reserves and native bush, putting more effort into youth engagement and initiatives and making sure council is seen in a more positive light with increased community input to become a more people focused organisation.There’s much more of course, and is well worth reading or watching.
By becoming more people focused, our community might feel more positive about us. We need to talk about people more.
Public transport isn’t about buses or trains, it is about people, how they get to work or around our city in a faster, less stressful, more efficient way.
Cycle ways aren’t about cyclists they’re about people who want to ride bikes safely and make room on the roads for other people.
Young people are just people that happen to be younger than us. I have worked closely with young people across our city for years. They have hopes and dreams, they have a lot more experience than we give them credit for, they love living here too, so let’s respect their ideas and thoughts and plan a city with them for their future not just short term fixes for today.
It’s always nice when a friend does well, and I know that Richard will be a good Councillor, and his speech is a good indicator of why I know that: It expresses who he really is, what his values are, and how he sees the world. As I’ve said many times, he’s the real deal.
All of which definitely makes him worth quoting.