My priorities for Auckland are:
1. Delivering on transport
Auckland’s transport woes at holding our city back, with congestion estimated to be costing over a billion dollars a year in lost productivity. Even worse, too many people are injured on our roads and our road toll is climbing - deaths and serious injuries on roads since 2012 have nearly doubled.
Council has recently signed off on the largest investment in transport our city has ever seen. For the first time, Auckland has a properly funded long term transport plan. However Council needs to make sure that this delivers on its promise and that we don’t lose sight of the local issues.
Maximising the massive transport investment by ensuring it is used appropriately and effectively to deliver real improvements to congestion and safety.
Champion for the Eastern Busway to be prioritised to better connect East Auckland to the rail network and beyond, while minimising disruption to the community during implementation .
Push for faster delivery of rapid transit from Botany through to the airport (potentially leveraging the proposed rail station at Puhinui).
Ensure that we continue investment around our award winning Half Moon Bay ferry terminal so it can meet its potential as a transport hub.
Advocate for an Eastern bike network (including separated cycle lanes) to provide safe choices, especially for school children.
Lift the safety of our roads with a critical review of problem areas, including known crash areas. Address with changes to road layout, speed limits and traffic calming where appropriate.
Work closely with the Howick Local Board to develop a short to medium term plan for transport improvements and securing funding to make it happen.
Provide better transparency on upcoming transport projects and ensuring more opportunities for real engagement to provide feedback on issues and ideas.
Monitor the impact of the regional fuel tax on households, especially those with fixed incomes. The investment in transport cannot be at the cost of our people.
Push strongly for alternative funding to the regional fuel tax to be introduced at the earliest possible time (such as congestion charging), while progressively reducing the regional fuel tax.
Ensure that the regional fuel tax delivers on its promise with close monitoring and transparent reporting on the revenue, expenditure and value delivered.
Transform public transport to ensure it it connects our homes, work and schools in an affordable, reliable and cost effective manner.
Ensure school buses operate on schedules and routes that work for those that use them by ensuring better engagement with schools, parents and students.
2. Fair share for East Auckland
Auckland Council oversees spending that is only rivalled by central government, with billions in operating budget and even more in capital investment. The Councillors and Mayor hold incredible responsibility for decisions that will impacting us for decades to come. But the news is full stories of bickering, bullying and poor attendance at meetings and workshops.
Our governing body must operate in a more disciplined and constructive manner. We must see an end to the mistrust and hidden reports - our councillors must have all the information they need to make decisions and act professionally with privileged information.
Demand an honest and accountable council, holding my fellow councillors and mayor to the highest standard.
Work constructively with all parties (regardless of political background) to achieve the best outcomes.
Ensure we see the end shoddy park maintenance by keeping the contractors honest and enforcing punishments agreed within contracts (e.g. fines).
Protect our parks from sell-offs, we need our green spaces even more as we grow.
Speed up investigations and tidy up of illegal dumping to ensure that perpetrators are dealt with and environment is cleaned up.
Ensure that Council recovers as much of the $1million a year spent cleaning up the 1300 tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish by recovering from those caught.
Provide open and honest communication on council decisions and how they will impact our community.
Being available in our community to listen and hear your concerns and ideas in formal and informal engagements.
Ensuring that East Auckland’s voice is heard at council and listened to.
Providing better transparency on resource consent applications and providing more opportunities for locals to engage constructively before decisions are made.
3. Holding council to account
Fair share for East Auckland
The size of a small city and growing fast, East Auckland needs investment or we will be left behind. With nearly 10% of the cities population (and growing fast), we must ensure that we get the investment required to build our future without costing us everything we have today.
Stop endless rates rises - ratepayers cannot be seen as an endless source of revenue for council spending.
Challenge reckless spending, especially vanity projects and excessive consultancy fees.
Ensure that core services like park maintenance is delivered consistently and reliably.
Battle to protect our neighbourhoods and heritage, respecting our history while we grow.
Making every beach swimmable by investing heavily in water quality and stormwater infrastructure.
Reducing the impact of flooding by preparing our streets and infrastructure to cope with increased extreme weather events brought on by climate change.
Taking urgent action to slow down and, where possible prevent, further soil and cliff erosion to protect our coastline green spaces and properties.
Continue to drive cost efficiencies throughout the council including group procurement and better alignment between departments.
Ensure that council is leveraging its commercial assets and businesses to maximise their revenue potential and community benefits.
Reduce reliance on general rates with alternative funding, including use of bonds like the highly successful Green Investment Bonds which raised $200million.
Advocate for rates reform at central government level to ensure that more of the revenue collected locally is made available to council (reducing reliance on rates)