Brown keen to build on foun­da­tion work

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Mayor Len Brown is ask­ing Auck­lan­ders for three more years to move the city for­ward.

The su­per-city’s first mayor an­nounced his plans to seek re­elec­tion on Sun­day.

His first term has been dom­i­nated by the chal­lenges of amal­ga­mat­ing eight coun­cils into one, he says.

‘‘We have put in place the foun­da­tions for Auck­land to move for­ward with unity on a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant projects.

‘‘If elected to a sec­ond term, I will con­tinue to fo­cus on the is­sues that mat­ter most to Auck­lan­ders,’’ Mr Brown says.

Trans­port, af­ford­able hous­ing and keep­ing rates low are the three key plat­forms he’ll cam­paign on.

‘‘We face big chal­lenges – the chal­lenge of high pop­u­la­tion growth, in­te­grat­ing the trans­port sys­tem, pro­vid­ing af­ford­able hous­ing and get­ting the Auck­land econ­omy mov­ing are the most press­ing is­sues . . . in a sec­ond term.’’

Get­ting the Cen­tral Rail Link off the ground now the govern­ment has agreed to sup­port it will re­quire par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion, he says.

Fi­nal­is­ing the Uni­tary Plan and mov­ing for­ward with the Spe­cial Hous­ing Ar­eas that will be­gin to ad­dress the prob­lem of un­af­ford­able hous­ing are other im­por­tant fac­tors.

‘‘This will al­low us to un­lock new land by fast-track­ing con­sents for de­vel­op­ment while re­quir­ing de­vel­op­ers to pro­vide for low cost hous­ing in ex­change,’’ he says.

Mr Brown says in a sec­ond term he would keep aver­age rate rises at around or less than the in­fla­tion rate.

‘‘I will con­tinue to fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing a more in­no­va­tive econ­omy while build­ing links with our ma­jor trad­ing part­ners in the Asia Pa­cific re­gion.

‘‘Tourism is also an area the coun­cil must fo­cus on, along­side work­ing with the govern­ment to tackle youth un­em­ploy­ment.’’

Other con­firmed con­tenders for the Auck­land may­oralty are mil­lion­aire restau­ra­teur John Palino, Mana Party can­di­date John Minto, ac­tivist Penny Bright and Auck­land Univer­sity chap­lin Ue­si­fili Unasa.

Photo: DUBBY HENRY

Three more years: Mayor Len Brown will stand for re-elec­tion at this year’s lo­cal body elec­tions.

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