In her spare time, you can find her playing a beautiful tune on her piano, having a ‘phones-free’ dinner with her family, or taking a relaxing stroll along Tamaki drive. Councillor for Orakei Ward, Desley Simpson believes in the importance of taking time out to unwind and spending time with friends and family, however, don’t be fooled, she is an extremely hardworking woman who is forever putting the needs of her community first. Desley knows her neighbourhood well, having more or less lived in the Orakei Ward area her whole life.

Desley’s favourite aspect of the area is not confined to one thing, in fact she says it really has it all.

“It has wonderful beaches on the northern boundary, a large natural urban wetland, Orakei basin, Pourewa valley, Ōhinerau (Mount Hobson) and a beautiful leafy natural environment.”

Desley said that some of the works going on in the Orakei ward area this year may not seem but very exciting but they will certainly make a difference, these include the Tamaki Drive causeway upgrades, which will raise a section of Tamaki drive up half a metre, a major achievement that will help with flood prevention of the main commuter road. Also underway are the Okahu separation works, which will improve water quality.

“One of the only disadvantages of the older areas of Auckland is the infrastructure that has been in place for many years and hasn’t been upgraded, and with a continuum of extra households and population growth, we need to ensure the below-ground infrastructure is up to servicing this growth, a task that is definitely on our to-do list.

“We have a responsibility to provide a high level of service in a highly populated area,” says Desley.

Desley is this year in the role of Chair of Finance Performance and Value for Money and is also the Chair of the Auckland Domain, Auckland’s oldest park and one of the largest in the city. With this increased responsibility Desley has set herself some large goals, mainly to identify half a billion dollars of savings and efficiencies by the end of the three-year term.

“This term I have been given more responsibility, and I am really looking forward to taking this on to provide results for my local community and for Auckland.

“It is very important for me to show the communities and residents of Auckland that both myself and the council are stepping up to achieve good things for the city. I know I have set a huge goal, but I am confident I can achieve it,” says Desley.

“I also believe everyone is a part of a community and should have their say, it doesn’t matter where they live – I want everyone to know that they have access to the people that represent them at the town table.”

If you would like to get in touch with Desley, please head along to her website:

Desley strongly encourages anyone to reach out and get in contact if they have any questions, concerns or ideas.