MARA holds elections at its annual meeting, and the present committee – appointed in 2017 – covers a wide cross-section of Mt Albert people.

The incorporated society rules allow the group to co-opt new members at any time and interest from outside is always welcomed, though there is a need to keep the size of the committee manageable.

Meetings are open to the public and generally draw members of the Albert Eden Local Board and Auckland Council ward councillors.

The present committee has embraced a “portfolio” approach – in which members take a close interest in particular fields, and stay in touch with developments/progress. Those members are:

Sir Harold Marshall (co-chair), the joint founder of Marshall Day Acoustics, specialises in theatre and concert hall design. He is an architect, engineer and physicist who is recognised internationally for his contribution to concert hall design. Formerly Professor of Architecture in the University of Auckland and head of the Acoustics Research Centre, Dr Marshall has over 50 years’ experience in the acoustical design of auditoria and concert halls. Harold was born in Mt Albert and grew up here. He lives on a remnant of the Woodward farm “Springleigh” which has been in his family since 1873. He is committed to the suburb as “a good place to live!”

Wayne Pearson (co-chair) has lived and worked all over the world, returning to NZ to live in Mt Albert four years ago. He enjoys the community feel of Mt Albert and its potential to develop into one of Auckland’s best suburbs. Wayne is a lawyer with Glaister Ennor, practising mainly in the areas of trusts and estate planning. He is keen to give back to the community and is especially interested in the village upgrades and the local business community. Wayne is also very interested in ensuring disabled access to our facilities. He thought that having four children was sufficient but was informed by his wife that he was incorrect; he is the proud father of five children, all attending local schools.

Donna Schofield (treasurer) was born and raised in Whangarei. She lived in Titirangi for 20 years and is now back residing in Mt Albert with her husband and three children. Donna wants to make a positive difference to the community feel of Mt Albert, and ensure safer areas for children to live, play and walk to school. Donna has worked for a variety of organisations in accounting roles, and is currently the cccounts & administration manager for a commercial roofing company, and also responsible for health & safety compliance for their employees.  Donna’s an animal lover and you might see her walking her dog Tui around Owairaka/Mt Albert, or walking the school run with her children who attend the local schools in Mt Albert.

Fred Durling has lived in Mt Albert more than most of us – close to 50 years, and with his late wife raised a son and daughter here. He was an electrician and builder before becoming a lecturer in electro-technology at AUT and then, for six years or so, ran electrical registration courses in Britain and South Africa for prospective immigrants.

Angie Dougal has lived in Mt Albert since she was two. She loves the sense of community that the suburb brings and has enjoyed seeing her children grow up with such awesome families around. Angie owns and runs two of the most exciting-sounding businesses around: Extreme Trampoline and Extreme Earthmoving. She is managing (and coaching) the NZ Trampoline team travelling to the World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in November and has been elected on to the Board of Gymnastics NZ.

Beth Allen has lived in Mt Albert for seven years and feels so lucky to call it home. She can be seen walking her dog around the streets, taking her young son to Rocket Park and nipping up to Burger Wisconsin on a Friday night. Beth has worked professionally as an actor since she was 11 and more recently as a theatre producer. She is continuing to work a little in these areas but is currently focusing much of her energy on her son, MARA and reading good books.

Linda Holdaway has lived in Mt Albert for 12 years. She is a registered valuer and works as a property specialist to buy and sell land on behalf of Auckland Council. Linda loves Mt Albert for its central location, the character homes and proximity to schools, train, bus and cycle routes. She got involved in MARA in response to the Unitec Unitary Plan submission as this directly affects her neighbourhood. Joining the committee was a logical continuation of this involvement, given the long term nature of the Unitec redevelopment plans. Linda and her husband Tim have two sons in their 20s: one now living and working in Hamilton and the other starting a masters degree at the University of Auckland.

Neil Wakefield was born in Wellington but is now pleased to call Mt Albert home for himself, his wife and three children. Despite Mt Albert’s vistas being a little less picturesque than Queenstown’s (where he has also lived), Neil asserts that Mt Albert has a much better train service. He loves the sense of community and is keen to give back through his work with MARA. Neil is an architectural designer and is currently going through the long and arduous journey of renovating his own house.

Dee Ratahi and partner Leah have a four-year-old son and moved to Mt Albert about five years ago, drawn by respected schools and the suburb’s community spirit. He has a strong background in global branding and, after experience in the surf industry in Australia and leading Rip Curl’s retail expansion programme in New Zealand, is now Nike Golf’s representative here. Dee is in his fourth term as club captain at Chamberlain Park Golf Course and strongly opposes the local board’s plans to reduce the course to nine holes

Sean Kisby was originally from “a small English-speaking island off North-western Europe”, and has lived just inside the northern borders of Mt Albert with his family for 14 years. You will often find him doing the school run at Gladstone, or catching a train from Baldwin Ave. He is an architect with Salmond Reed in Devonport with a deep interest in preserving heritage, and helping to imagine a sustainable future.