Sitting down with our new Local Government Minister

1 December 2023

We took the opportunity to ask our new Minister some questions, and here’s what he told us.

New Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has been involved in politics from a young age. He joined his local residents’ association, the Clendon Residents Group, and became its Secretary, before chairing the inaugural Manurewa Youth Council. In 2013, he was elected to the Auckland Council Manurewa Local Board, also serving as deputy chair. He then entered national politics, becoming the MP for Pakuranga in 2017.

Who inspires you?

“It is fair to say local government is in my blood.  My inspiration comes from my grandfather, Peter Best, former member of the then Eketahuna Borough Council, later Community Board. He sparked my political bug.”

What is your vision for local government?

“I want to see local government in New Zealand improve the lives of our communities with a strong focus on core services and infrastructure.”

How do you think your experience in local government has prepared you for this role?

“My past experience working closely with my community during my time on the Manurewa Local Board has equipped me with the insights needed to understand the issues facing local government.”

What do you think local government’s strengths are?

“Local government is critical in maintaining direct connections with communities to ensure that their cities, towns and regions’ needs are well addressed.”

[answers supplied directly by Minister Simeon Brown]