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John Banks Speech: Attitude Reflects Leadership


Attitude Reflects Leadership Speech notes: The Northern Club Hon John Banks QSO – Mayor of Auckland City 8.30pm, Tuesday, 4 November 2004

In 1840, shortly after Ngati Whatua leaders signed the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Kawau sent his nephew, Reweti to the Bay of Islands to ask Governor Hobson to come to Tamaki.

Governor Hobson consented, as long as he could buy enough land to set up his colonial administration.

On 20 September 1840 Governor Hobson wrote to George Clarke, who had the title of “Protector of Aborigines” and was part of the Governor’s colonial administration.

As a result George Clarke, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, executed a Deed of Purchase for more than three thousand acres of land from Ngati Whatua.

In short, the land so transferred makes up the modern Auckland suburbs of Parnell, the Central Business District, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Herne Bay, Westmere and some of Newmarket and Mount Eden. The consideration was expressed to be worth 281 pounds.

Nine months later the first forty-four acres of this land (now the CBD) was then on-sold by the Crown for then 72,053 pounds – an 8,000% profit.

12 months after that a further block, this time of more than eight thousands acres, came to be transferred by Ngati Whatua to the Crown, which incorporates Westmere, Pt Chevalier, Western Springs, Waterview, Avondale, Mt Albert, Titirangi, Sandringham, Mt Roskill, Three Kings, Balmoral, Kingsland, Mt Eden and Epsom – the balance of what is today Auckland City.

The sale price: 200 pounds plus four horses, thirty blankets, ten cloaks and one desk.

John Logan Campbell, a Scottish-born doctor turned businessman, was one of the first European settlers to arrive in the newly formed capital.
In 1853, with his business partner William Brown, Campbell bought the estate that was to be One Tree Hill for 16,500 pounds from a local farmer, one Thomas Henry.

Sir John Logan Campbell prospered as a shipping agent, importer of alcohol and as a brewer.
However, a few years later an economic downturn saw Campbell reorganise his business.

Campbell managed to weather the storm, although his debts were colossal. He was paying 13 pounds interest a day on his many loans and mortgages but refused to sell the One Tree Hill property.

He could have subdivided the land but could not bear to see “the Queen City of Oceania park-less”.

Cornwall Park was formally opened on August 26 1903 - one hundred years ago this year.

Campbell was duly elected Mayor of Auckland for three months during the 1901 visit from the Duke and Duchess of York and Cornwall, who later became King George the 5th and Queen.

It is interesting to note the Royal couple stayed here at the Northern Club.

History records “it was strongly felt by all classes and sections that Campbell should be Mayor because the future King and Queen of England might feel proud to shake the hand one who had done so much to promote their Empire in his part of the world.”

During the royal visit Dr Campbell announced his gifting of the park, and named it in honour of the royal couple.

Campbell said: “In giving the park to the public I have lived to receive the crowning happiness of my life.”

In 1912 Sir John Logan Campbell died. Around Auckland flags were flown at half-mast.

Dr Campbell was a visionary.

Sir John Logan Campbell is the Father of Auckland.

He was also President of this fine establishment three times between the years 1880 – 1912.

I take the opportunity to thank the President (Rob Fenwick) and members for this occasion tonight.

The Northern Club was founded in 1869 by a group of prominent businessmen.

The Club's founders had remarkable foresight in agreeing to purchase this Victorian building overlooking Albert Barracks in Princes Street. The purchase price: 5,000 pounds.

Known as the Royal Hotel it was rebuilt in 1867 and described at the time as the largest and most handsome hotel in the city. Parliament was in Auckland for 11 years. Members would stay here and walk to sessions at the General Assembly.

I am the 38th Mayor of this great city. It is indeed an honour!

I have a vision for Auckland… to be a truly internationally competitive city with heart and soul.

I follow in the footsteps of many great citizens.

Edwin Mitchelson: Sir Arthur Myers; Sir Ernest Davis; and Sir John Allum.

Interestingly, Mr Mitchelson – who was Mayor of Auckland exactly 100 years ago – had also been the Member of Parliament for Whangarei and a Minister of the Crown!

Attitude reflects leadership…. My mayoralty for modern Auckland is about investment, growth and jobs. It’s about team building. It’s about leadership.

I am focussed on quality intergenerational development.

Auckland is in better shape than ever before – more investment, more growth and more jobs.

When I was elected, Auckland City was saddled with a projected debt of $371 million. Under my leadership the City today is debt free.

We are moving Auckland forward.

However, if we are to make great progress, we must keep focused on the big infrastructure projects.

After all, where Auckland goes New Zealand will follow.

We are the country’s fastest growing region, with the population set to reach 1.7 million by 2020 - an increase of almost half a million people.

Greater Auckland grows by the population of Dunedin every four years.

Auckland is a city of diversity, with one in three residents born overseas.

As the nation’s engine-room Auckland needs to do better if this country is to achieve its potential.

We need to do much better if we are to deliver world class education for our young… and world class health care for our elderly.

The only thing that will deliver social prosperity is sustained economic growth.

Fifty years ago New Zealand was third in the OECD - behind the United States and Canada and just ahead of Switzerland. Today we’re in the bottom third between Spain and Portugal.

In the 10 years to 2000 Auckland’s real GDP growth per capita was zero compared to other cities:

Singapore 41%; Brisbane 22%; and Sydney 24%.

Last year we turned the corner for the first time in more than a decade. We had positive economic growth of 4.8%.

With enormous population pressures comes the need for substantial infrastructure in the areas of roading, public transport and wastewater.

My mayoralty is built around a vision of completing the region’s integrated transport network by 2010 with a world-class public transport system.

That is my commitment.

Traffic congestion costs the economy at least $1 billion a year in wasted time and wasted energy.

In 20 years time the number of cars in Auckland will double.

There are more households in Auckland that own two cars than there are households that own one car.

Doing nothing is not an option.

Talks with Wellington on the 10 billion dollar funding package are progressing. In the next three months concrete recommendations will be made and agreement with Government is expected.

This Auckland City Council and the coalition Government are working constructively, with urgency and in good faith.

Attitude reflects leadership.

My mayoralty is about leadership – I was elected to lead not follow.

Let me share with you some major projects that occupy my time: The development of the biggest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere. Covering 24-hectares, it will have more shops than the entire CBD of Wellington. Silvia Park will produce thousands of new jobs.

The Auckland University campus at Tamaki with 10,000 students.

8,000 new homes to be built on the Winston quarry site at Mt Wellington.

700 million dollars of foreign investment through Westfield and Auckland One on both sides of Broadway, Newmarket.

A 350 million dollar above-ground development at the bottom of the CBD including the complete restoration of the 19 historic buildings that surround Britomart.

Within the next 25 years all that property to the west of Queen Street known as the ‘Tank Farm’ will be home to another 10,000 citizens.

I am also committed to a complete upgrade of Queen Street.

Along with network completion my vision represents an investment of at least 20 billion dollars over the next 20 years and at least 100,000 new jobs.

This is what I stand for. This is my commitment to moving Auckland forward.

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