Local elections: your voice matters!

Efeso Collins addresses the E tū Biennial Conference

Efeso Collins addresses the E tū Biennial Conference

Leaflets are being delivered and billboards are popping up across the country as we get close to the 2022 local elections. This is your chance to vote for mayors, councillors, and other officials who will make important decisions on behalf of your local community.

Councils have a huge responsibility for the things that affect our everyday lives. From day-to-day decisions like rubbish collection and setting rates, to long term challenges like housing, transport infrastructure, civil defence preparedness, and climate change mitigation, the people who we elect this year will have big jobs to do.

E tū is always involved in local elections. As well as having a vested interest in making sure local politics serves E tū members, we also recognise the powers councils have as employers. For both directly employed workers and those employed by contractors, councils are some of the biggest employers in the country. That is why we have fought with our community allies to have paying the Living Wage at the top of council agendas every election.

Auckland needs Efeso

Auckland councillor and E tū member Efeso Collins has thrown his hat in the ring for one of Aotearoa’s most important jobs: Mayor of Auckland. An Auckland councillor since 2016, Efeso has stood firm as a champion for developing strong communities. He is particularly focused on housing, transport, urban development, and climate change mitigation.

Efeso knows the importance of workers and our unions getting involved in local elections.

“Unions represent a collective of people who can often feel left out of the decisions,” Efeso says.

“It’s very important to give a voice to the concerns that affect working people the most. Councils can have a huge role in improving things for workers, from paying the Living Wage to everyone they are responsible for, to making sure that housing is both decent and affordable.

“I don’t just ask ‘what is the future of the city’, I ask ‘who is the future of the city’. There’s no question that we need a people-oriented approach if we are going to keep designing a future for our cities that we can be proud of.”

One particularly exciting policy that Efeso is taking to the election is a commitment to fare-free public transport. Efeso describes this as a “quadruple win”.

“Fares-free public transport will alleviate some of the burdens of the cost of living, it will reduce congestion on the roads, it will help local economic development by connecting up our suburbs, and of course it will help us tackle climate change.”

E tū has officially endorsed Efeso Collins for Mayor of Auckland. Vote for Efeso Collins – and get your friends and whānau to do the same!