Tagata Pasifika

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New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Auckland Councillor’s ‘takeaway prayers’ answered!

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Councillor Josephine Bartley with her dog Milo. Photo: Provided
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Local Democracy Reporting | Free Public Interest News Service

By Kim Meredith of Local Democracy Reporting

You know you’re doing something right when a constituent shows up unexpectedly at your front door with fried chicken.

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki ward Councillor Josephine Bartley and her dog Milo were leaving a meeting on Monday night with a plate of leftovers from the “beautiful spread at our Glen Innes family centre board meeting.”

However she came across a rough sleeper and noticed he was eyeing her plate; she happily handed it over on the proviso he return home that evening.

It was at this point that another dog came rushing at Milo. Bartley barely had time to act, dropping everything to scoop up her small dog, to prevent him from being harmed.

Easily the most media savvy of Auckland Council’s Governance Board, with a strong following across platforms, she posted about the incident adding:

“My gosh not having a good evening, so far I’m hoping some KFC miraculously falls into my lap to make up for it. Although grateful the dog didn’t get to Milo.”

In no time at all, Glen Innes resident Roimata Vainerere-Patia answered Bartley’s prayer to the takeaway gods, delivering a KFC meal shortly afterwards to the councillor’s home.

When Local Democracy Reporting asked Vainerere-Patia about her act of kindness, she said it was such a small act for someone like Bartley who deserves so much more.

“It’s just what we do. Councillor Bartley is an open book. What you see is what you get. For me, her presence and being visible to the point of being vulnerable and accountable is what we need more of.

“She’s always present and trying to deal with all the complaints etc with honesty and not hiding behind anything. She takes it and carries on,” said Vainerere-Patia, Tāmaki Regeneration’s Affordable Housing Community Advisor.

“I was working late and I saw the notifications and thought KFC is just up the road. What I did is such a small act for someone who deserves more. She’s awesome.”

Councillor Bartley said the generosity shown from Vainerere-Patia, as well as the numerous messages of support received on social media, made for a welcome change as she was often subjected to abuse from media trolling.

“Yes it’s a nice change, I was so surprised. It keeps me going,” she said referring to her stance as a politician well known for taking a stand.

When LDR caught up with Councillor Bartley she had just emerged from a meeting with police providing an update on the gang-related shooting in Taurima Reserve in Pt England last Saturday.

The police area commander reassured her that the homicide investigation was underway, with the arrest of a 28-year-old man, who had breached his electronically monitored bail.

“I can’t say to the community that we are safe anymore, now that I know it’s gang related because [it] could happen again, in another park during broad daylight.”

Bartley urged the local community to contact police if they had any information.

A police spokesperson reassured the community that the shooting was an isolated incident, with no ongoing risk believed to be posed to the wider public.

Please contact Police on 105 quoting the file number 230805/0100.
Information can also be reported online at www.police.govt.nz/use-105.
Report information anonymously via Crime Stoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

Local democracy reporting

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