Glen McMillan Okara Ward

Glen McMillan born Auckland New Zealand

I moved to Whangarei 6 years ago having lived in Auckland running my own electronics repair businesses. I purchased a house in Whangarei tucked into the bush in Riverside close to the Riverside Marina. Whangarei is now my home

I like what Whangarei District Council (WDC) is doing with infrastructure in Whangarei. I have a disability and I do drive but I use a mobility scooter or a wheelchair to safely move around the city. I’m currently based at both The Orchard in the Whangarei CBD and a home office.

I can walk short distances with the aid of a walking stick.

The WDC drive to create walkways and cycleways has to be applauded, as a user of mobility devices such as a mobility scooter. Whangarei is becoming much more accessible with excellent quality infrastructure.


Is to ensure that everybody including Maori, young families and youth the elderly and disabled persons perspectives are provided to councils on a range of issues and suggest courses of action to councils and Government that involve these people their thoughts opinions and collective knowledge.

We need to make sure no group in our community is missing out. To prosper as a city we need to grow to grow we need work. When in council I will be asking that projects go to local companies employing local people.

Another goal is to promote and improve understanding of disabled persons and disability issues that affect disabled persons and their Whānau, by better connecting with these people which will allow us to build relationships between disabled persons and the Government and local councils.

Develop an online platform and social media to allow Whangarei people and their families to better communicate with WDC and Government.

Provide opportunities for our people to be included and encouraged to be involved in decision making and help with problem-solving on all issues affecting them or their families.

Provide accessibility advice to council on matters of accessibility urban design, planning and infrastructure. Accessibility is a human right.

Accessibility is my concern as co-chair of WDC Disability Advisory Group I will lobby hard for accessibility rights.

If you want to be successful, the most important thing is to be people obsessed. Don’t just satisfy your community, figure out how to please and delight them.

The number one thing you need to help the whole community is to have a passion. I have got to have a great passion for the area that I am going to live develop and work in.

I have to be a missionary. Missionaries build better relationships and understanding they make more friends.

Whangarei is a small but growing city we have to grow with the city.

I am a long term disability advocate.

I take a common-sense approach to life. I face many barriers, as do many disabled people. I have been removing these barriers for more than 40 years and I would bring this skill to the council.

How I would fit into Whangarei District Council? I am a qualified electronics service person by trade, these days I am a website designer and online publisher.

I owned and managed one of the bigger telephone repair businesses in Auckland before moving north to Whangarei.

I have had many businesses and featured on TVNZ Success program in the 80s

Being disabled I have a passion for accessibility. I have worked with Northland DHB with 2 new accessible entranceways into the hospital carpark and given advice on changes and considerations for the DHB 7 year plan.

I have worked both with private companies in Auckland Northland and WDC on accessibility improvements for our communities. I have provided advice to WDC and they do listen and have acted. This benefits the whole community.

I have a passion for keeping Whangarei clean and green so both locals and our lifeblood tourists can enjoy our city. WDC is making a huge effort to keep our harbour clean; this would be one of my passions.

Whangarei could become a bigger business hub by promoting work from home offices taking advantage of our fibre connections.

In 2019 many jobs are being automated. WDC could be promoting or funding upskilling programmes to help our people get jobs.

I would like to be building strong relationships with every sector of our community with an emphasis on Maori, the elderly, children, disabled or less-abled people families of course. And importantly businesses, ultimately businesses employ our people and bring income to Whangarei and greater Northland.

I listen, I care, I ask and advocate for change

I am on the WDC disability advisory group as co-chair.

I am founder and Chairman of Disability Advisory Group New Zealand.

I am Chairman of DPA Northland ( Disabled Persons Assembly )

Glen McMillan grew up in Auckland New Zealand, life was that of a normal child until at age 10 Glen had a bicycle accident in his own street this was the start of almost 4 years in hospital.

Glen suffered permanent disabilities which have worsened with age, now in his late 50s he drives but uses a mobility scooter close to home, Glen has limited ability to walk, walking is a real struggle.

Glen has always wanted to help others, partly because he himself needed so much help.

Aged 14 Glen was discharged from the hospital, Glen had lived around adults for the last 4 years so was very much the young adult.

After leaving school at age 16 I started my first job weeks later at Cutler Hammer as an industrial wireman after completing my training, I left to join century 21 electronics manufacturing and servicing amusement machines such as space invader, defender, Buck Rogers etc.

I left to travel overseas when I returned I contracted to amusement machine owners and started a service business to keep these machines running in arcades all over Auckland. Over the next few years I qualified and became an appliance serviceman, more training I became a TV and Video serviceman for Tisco, I then moved into business systems and worked for Plessey Business Systems as a serviceman across a range of equipment

1987 saw the New Zealand telecommunications industry deregulated, privately imported telephones could now be imported, the floodgates opened tens of thousands of telephones entered NZ, the first cordless phones appeared. I quit my job at Plessey and opened Auckland Telephone Services.

Auckland Telephone Services purpose was to repair the newly imported telephones and employed my disabled friends in a skilled well-paid job, at first I worked from home got some business cards printed and handed them out to retail shops selling imported telephones. We soon got noticed and started getting calls from reporters.