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"No Spin" Mayoral Campaign.

"No Spin" Mayoral Campaign.

Friday 6 August 2004,

Open and honest communication is the theme for Chris Fletcher's Mayoral campaign.

This weekend, hoardings for her campaign go up around the city under the banner "No Spin".

Chris Fletcher said that Aucklanders have been fed so many tall stories by the current mayor, John Banks, that it is very difficult to discern the truth any more.

"There has been so much spin around what is really going on in the city, no one knows what to believe."

She said the Mayor brags about Council's debt-free situation but doesn't mention the sale of the Airport shares (which, if they were sold now, would have realised at least a further $60 million).

“Remember, this is the same man who promised the electors in 2001 that the Eastern Motorway would only cost $400 million and would start immediately under his leadership - a project on which he staked his Mayoralty.

“Nor does he mention the commitment of $850 million for property acquisition just for maintaining the designation for the Eastern Corridor,” she said. She noted that this liability was required by statute to be shown in the City's financial budget, but had not been. "Perhaps Banks’ arrogance leaves him feeling he is above the law,” she said. “Now we know that this project will cost well in excess of over $3 billion and is still many years away by Banks' own admission,” Chris Fletcher said. “It’s a very complex story he now spins us. His policy management is based on smoke and mirrors, designed to confuse and mislead the public. This is just like his 2001 promises not to increase rates, nor use consultants, nor raise remuneration.”

Chris Fletcher said that Banks had been “vague to the point of dizziness” over the economic benefits of the planned V8 race for the city, with figures ranging from $4 million to $40 million. “Likewise, the Eastern motorway has never had a cost-benefit analysis. We're supposed to just take his word for it that it's a good idea," she said.

"There is a lot of hard work to be done liasing with community and business leaders, as well as local and central government, to resolve Auckland's major growth challenges and transport gridlock, and putting into place Auckland’s strategic vision, “First City of the Pacific," she said.

Chris Fletcher said divisive politics of either the right or the left are “simply not going to cut it” any more. She will restore a unifying style of leadership to get things done for Auckland by strengthening relationships with ARC, other Auckland Councils and Central Government.

"It is time the people of Auckland were treated with dignity and respect,” she said.

Chris Fletcher said she has a proven track record of bringing people and organisations together to achieve results for the city.

"It is time for Banks and his band of greedy property developers and cronies to go. For all of the spin, the only major projects to have been completed by this Council were ones embarked upon by the previous Council.

“I challenge him to front up on the true status and real costs of the Eastern Motorway, for a start. Then, he might explain his flip-flops on Britomart, rail and public transport, consultants, rates increases and Council events. He has no passion or vision for this city, only a desire for power and self promotion.

“Auckland deserves better.”

Chris Fletcher predicted that, while Banks may have developers and the roading lobby writing big cheques for a slick campaign, the people would not be deceived twice. “This time, as incumbent, he cannot hide from the hard questions,” she said. “I am looking forward to holding him to account on his performance and offering real solutions to the people of Auckland."

Postcards with key policy initiatives will be delivered around the city from next week.


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