City life appeals to vegan lawyer
A vegan lawyer with a passion for inner-city living is one of two new faces on the Waitemata Local Board.
Vernon Tava is a community lawyer at the Grey Lynn Neighbourhood Law Office specialising in planning, environmental and employment law.
His desire to see the city transform itself with ‘‘living spaces’’, cycleways and walkways prompted him to stand for the board.
‘‘I remember Auckland in the 90s and I think it was a real low point for the city. Privitisation, very little concern for heritage – the city was really lacking in life.’’
It’s been exciting to see the city’s increased dynamism since then, he says.
Mr Tava joins fellow City Vision canditate Deborah Yates on the newly elected board replacing Tricia Reade and Jesse Chalmers.
He hopes his legal training and governance experience as a board member of animal rights organisation SAFE will stand him in good stead for his new role.
He grew up on the North Shore but the lure of urban living drew him to move to the central city.
‘‘I moved as soon as I could. I got pretty tired of catching the one-hour bus into the city and a one-hour bus back home long before the Northern Busway.’’
He is the national coconvenor of the Young Greens and a Parliamentary Services intern for Green Party MP David Clendon.
Improving public transport, walking and cycling options for the inner suburbs, stopping the stem of effluent flow into waterways and protecting heritage are among his top priorities.
Mr Tava chooses not to own a car and instead cycles or rides public transport to appointments.
‘‘I’m not anti-car – far from it. But I think the car has a dominance in our urban landscape that is disproportionate,’’ he says.
He will strongly support the board’s existing greenways projects.
The new board is made up of five City Vision canditates and two independent canditates.
West Lynn resident Deborah Yates brings experience in social policy and work with marginalised groups to the role.
‘‘I decided to stand for the local board after some friends suggested it because I believe people feel disempowered in terms of government, both local and central,’’ she says.
She intends to focus on issues including bringing in a living wage, retaining and enhancing Auckland’s historic and natural features and public transport.
Vernon Tava is hoping to make inner-city Auckland more livable following his election to the Waitemata Local Board.