Cameron Brewer was declared duly re-elected for a second term as the Auckland Councillor for Orakei on 21 August 2013. Given he was unopposed when nominations closed he didn’t need to contest the 2013 Local Body elections in October. He had been nominated to be the candidate by Remuera businesswoman Megan Jaffe and long-time Eastern Bays resident and former MP for Tamaki, Hon Clem Simich.
Brewer was first elected councillor for the Orakei ward on the inaugural Auckland Council on 9 October 2010 . A total of 18,228 people voted for him – making him the fifth highest polling Auckland councillor. He beat local veteran and Auckland City Council’s highest polling councillor for 2007, Doug Armstrong, by over 7,000 votes – the largest margin achieved by an Auckland councillor in the 2010 elections. Brewer was also the only councillor who obtained majority support – that is over 55% of Orakei voters voted for him. Elected at 37, he is the second youngest Auckland councillor and the only one not to have served on a council before.
On 1 November 2010, the inaugural Auckland Council was sworn in at the Auckland Town Hall in front of 1,400 people.
Cameron Brewer was sworn in with his 19 councillor colleagues and Mayor Len Brown at the Auckland Town Hall on 1 November 2010. He is chairman of the Business Advisory Panel and chairman of the Planning & Urban Design Forum. He is also deputy chairman of the Economic Development Forum. He already had a personal profile in Auckland, largely due to his hard work as leader of the second largest business association in New Zealand for over five years. He stepped down as chief executive of the Newmarket Business Association to campaign full-time on 8 September 2010. He’d been in that position since 2 May 2005.
Building a stronger community
Without doubt Cameron made a positive difference to the Newmarket community, taking the business association from 11th in overall performance to 1st, according to an Auckland City Council survey of Auckland’s 17 key business areas.
Cameron speaking at the official opening of the $35m Newmarket Railway Station, January 2010. Cameron successfully lobbied for a new station back in 2005.
He successfully lobbied to have the popular shopping strip of Broadway extensively upgraded and for Newmarket’s new $35m railway station to be fast-tracked. After a long battle he convinced Transit to signpost Newmarket on SH1, and when the RSA closed their Newmarket clubrooms, it was Cameron who took over the organising of the annual ANZAC Day parade and service. As the leader of the country’s leading retailing district, Cameron worked hard to foster the Newmarket community and sense of identity. He has worked closely with the Newmarket Arts Trust and subsequently Newmarket now boasts some major and significant pieces of public art. It was Cameron’s idea to have the award-winning local history book ‘Newmarket Lost & Found’ published this year and for it to include the memories of some of Newmarket’s oldest identities.
History, journalism then politics
Born 8 March 1973, Cameron has always been interested in history. It’s what he majored in at Massey University along with sociology. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts double major, he studied journalism and at the age of 21 was elected student president of one of the country’s biggest polytechnics. He grew up on a sheep farm near Hawera in South Taranaki, with his two older brothers – Alistair (45) who lives in the Eastern Bays with his wife and Hamish (49) who lives in Parnell with his wife and three children. Married since 1964, Cameron’s parents, Hilary and David, have retired to Taupo. For five years he was a boarder at Wanganui Collegiate School.
Cameron with his old boss former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley, 2009
Cameron worked for six years as a political press secretary for former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley, former Local Government Minister and Act Leader Hon Rodney Hide, and Auckland City Mayor Hon John Banks. He also worked as a researcher in the previous National Government’s Parliamentary Research Unit. Prior to that he founded and published a community newspaper in Dunedin, called ‘Inside Otago’ which he built up and then sold onto an investor. When the first issue rolled off the printing press in 1996 he was reportedly the youngest publisher in New Zealand at the age of 23. Cameron has strong governance experience. He reported to the Newmarket Business Association board of senior businesspeople for five years, and sat on the charity board of United Way New Zealand and on the executive committee of the not-for-profit group Towns & Cities New Zealand. He has also been a member of the New Zealand National Party since 1996. Cameron and his beautiful wife Kate Brewer live in Meadowbank. He has a daughter, Lucy, and son William. He enjoys keeping fit and has run four Taupo half marathons and the Auckland Half Marathon. In March 2011, he beat Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye for a fundraiser for Christchurch in Round The Bays, running the 8.4kms to St Heliers in 47 minutes.
He strongly values the importance of strong communities, building a better future for the next generations but never forgetting the past. His own great-great-great grandparents, Henry and Frances Brewer, were among Auckland’s early pioneers and are buried in Auckland’s historic Symonds Street cemetery.
An ability to make a difference
Cameron Brewer has been resolute in fighting crime and his record in Newmarket proves it. As project manager Cameron successful brought together the police, a private security firm, a telecommunications company, Newmarket building owners, and members of the business association to establish the first CCTV public-private partnership of its kind in New Zealand. In 2008 a network of state-of-the-art CCTV security cameras went up throughout Newmarket. Since then local police claim overall crime in many key categories has fallen by up to 50%.
Cameron also led the charge against graffiti, overseeing the community’s desire to eradicate graffiti from the streets and buildings. Newmarket is now largely graffiti-free.
Auckland Mayor City John Banks, former Newmarket Mayor David Lumsden, and Cameron Brewer at the opening of the redeveloped Lumsden Green in Newmarket, May 2010
For over five years Cameron closely worked with a myriad of public sector authorities on a number of complicated infrastructural projects in and around Newmarket. Amazingly, nearly ½ billion dollars has been committed to infrastructural upgrades in Newmarket since 2005.
Cameron proved to be a tireless community advocate. He is regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading place makers. He is a promoter and a protector. Without doubt he has the skills, experiences, energy, enthusiasm and contacts for the betterment of the town centres, public spaces, and residential streets that make up the Orakei Ward.