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Team of Independents Welcomes Uzra Casuri Balouch

Media Release

15th August 2013

Team of Independents Welcomes Uzra Casuri Balouch

The Team of Independents is pleased to announce a further Local Board candidate for the 2013 election.

Uzra Casuri Balouch, a real estate consultant and member of the Albany Community Coordinators Governance Board, is standing under the banner of “Team of Independents” for election to the Upper Harbour Local Board.

Uzra is passionate about the community, improving public transport, keeping rates down, and speaking out on the implications of the Unitary Plan.

Uzra is excited about joining the Team of Independents, which represents a new concept for the North Shore, as all members retain their policy independence, while working together for positive community outcomes.

The Team of Independents are standing candidates for Council (North Shore Ward), Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, Kaipatiki Local Board and Upper Harbour Local Board.

While we are independents with a range of views on issues, we all support:

·         Keeping rates down,

·         A community-focussed review of the Unitary Plan,

·         Protecting our heritage areas,

·         Preserving our natural environment, reserves and bush for community use,

·         Improving public transport,

·         Opening all meetings to the public.

Uzra Casuri Balouch

Real Estate Consultant and Member of the Albany Community Coordinators Governance Board.

Former Albany Newcomers Network Coordinator and Former Albany Settling In Coordinator MSD.

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Standing for: Upper Harbour Local Board

“I am passionate about my community. I believe that the Upper Harbour Local Board area is still in the dark about the far-reaching ramifications of the Unitary Plan. There must be a community-led review of the Unitary Plan and rezoning of Albany’s Mixed Housing Zone. I will fight to keep rates affordable. I support improved public transport, including cheaper fares for students and more feeder buses to the Park and Ride station. I will advocate for our youth to be supported into work by local businesses. I believe that all Local Board meetings should be open to the public, and not be held in secret.”

For more information see: and

Previously confirmed candidates in the Team of Independents are:

Dr Grant Gillo

Current member of the Kaipatiki Local Board. Former North Shore City Councillor, Member of Parliament.

Standing for: North Shore Ward, Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, Kaipatiki Local Board

“I stand for a major review of the Unitary Plan; fairer rates; affordable homes; improving public transport; protecting heritage; inclusive consultation; and saving our reserves and parks from commercialisation and sale. I have the experience, commitment and passion to ensure a better future for our communities.”

For more information see: and

John Gillo

Current member of the Kaipatiki Local Board and Chair of the Bayview Community Centre. Former Chair of the Glenfield Community Board.

Standing for: Kaipatiki Local Board

“I will do what it takes to retain the Shore lifestyle in our area and prevent cuts to our services. I will fight to retain our parkland and local assets from being sold or bulldozed. I support community consultation and grass-roots village planning; increasing public transport routes; implementing the long-overdue town centre plans; extending the Movies in Parks programme; and putting an end to secret, closed-door meetings.”

For more information see: and

Jan O’Conno

Current member of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board. Former North Shore City Councillor, Takapuna Community Board member.

Standing for: Devonport-Takapuna Local Board

“The Unitary Plan must be reviewed and structured to suit each neighbourhood within the Devonport-Takapuna Board Area. I want to retain the Takapuna Holiday Park to ensure future open space. Bus and ferry services must be improved and promoted; bus lanes incorporated on every arterial and a simpler, cheaper fare structure introduced.”

For more information see:

Lorene Pigg

Standing for: Kaipatiki Local Board

“I am a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in large companies at a senior management level. I am passionate about ensuring the North Shore lifestyle is retained and community assets protected and enhanced. The Auckland Unitary Plan will shape the future of our local area and I believe community feedback must be better taken into account in determining how the Plan will be structured for Kaipatiki. I support improving public transport, protecting our heritage areas, and will ensure that fiscal responsibility is maintained by the Board.”

Gary Thornton BC

Member of the Glenfield Community Centre Governance Board. Former Chair of the Bayview Community Centre.

Standing for: Kaipatiki Local Board

“I am community-focussed, experienced and practical. I love the Kaipatiki area – I moved here 44 years ago and haven’t looked back. But in the last few years I’ve become increasingly concerned at the lack of consultation from Council over various projects, spending of rates money, and the Unitary Plan which will change our suburbs forever. I want to bring a community-focus back to Council.”


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