Metro sector representative/Mayor, Hamilton City Council
Mayor, community advocate, grandmother
“I love helping our communities achieve their own vision.”
Teacher, guidance counsellor, Board of Trustees Chair. Paula Southgate’s path to local government is wide and varied, as is her list of achievements since being elected as councillor in 2001: 22 years of community plantings, the new K’aute Pacifika Fale and Cultural Village, the Waikato Regional Theatre (currently under construction), the Safer City Taskforce, work to create more affordable housing projects, and involvement in Project Halo, which led to the return of tūī to Hamilton City.
She says these projects cut to the heart of community wellbeing shaping the way people live, work, and play in the city.
Paula's vision stretches far. She’d like to see local government treated as a strategic partner to central government, with the two working more closely together to deliver on the aspirations of communities while bringing benefits to the whole country.
The greatest reward of being an elected member is the way local government enables her to connect and engage with people of all ages, ethnicities and interests. She feels blessed to have been able to have an influential role in shaping policy and strategy leading to improved outcomes for biodiversity, water quality and transport.