Auckland Council Graduate Profile

Meet Auckland Council at the CDES Business and Law Expo on Tuesday 12 March!

George Tereapii Greig

  • Democracy Services (Governance) Graduate, Auckland Council 
  • Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts (Sociology and Media Studies) 

Did your career plans change as you studied?
It is fair to say my career ambitions changed nearly every year of my university studies. Although those ambitions evolved, they always advocated for social equality and prosperity. Starting university, I wanted to work in academia or media journalism. Once I made it into law school however, I immediately wanted to work in legal practice. By my final year, I realised my interests in law and social science were not mutually exclusive. As my degree wrapped up, I considered legal practice and public policy two areas I would love to pursue. The only thing to decide was in what order.

I have since transitioned from commercial law to the public sector but I have no doubts my career plans will continue to change. New experiences, higher education and new relationships continue to expand how I see my professional career developing. Nonetheless, I am confident those same pursuits of equality and prosperity will underpin whatever comes next.

Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years?
I see myself working in representative government in the next ten years. My friends have long joked that I would ‘run for office’ in the foreseeable future. As I progressed through my studies and professional career, I began to see representative government not only as a possibility but in many respects, a duty. It is not enough to wish good for good, sometimes you have to work for good. I am inspired by many young leaders and professionals that shared that same drive and took the leap. New Zealand’s own Chloe Swarbrick comes to mind. However, for now I have every intention of becoming the best professional I can be – the rest can wait.

How valuable was your work experience for you as a student? How did this help you fine-tune where you wanted to head? 
As a student, everything seems so exciting and engaging at the hypothetical level. You imagine the most exciting and interesting parts of your studies will dominate your experience in the profession. However, that is often far from the truth. Working in your intended industry or profession immediately illustrates what you like, dislike and do not understand in your area. My experience with the Auckland Council has showed me first-hand what the legal and political dynamics are for regional government. In addition, I have seen what democracy and accountability looks like at the procedural level. I am developing a realistic sense of what I like, dislike and most entertainingly, what I truly do not understand. I find myself doubling down on some career plans and reconsidering others. I encourage all my graduating peers to use their professional experiences (and their gut) to determine how they spend their professional years.