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Len Brown Announces Manukau Mayoralty Candidacy

Announcement Of Candidacy For Mayoralty

My fellow citizens of Manukau –


Last election we came close to a change in leadership in Manukau City. The issues and challenges that were debated then are still with us.

I am offering to provide the kind of leadership that will move us all on in those areas where we need to develop and grow. Responsibility, Innovation and Fairness will be the catch cry of the campaign and my approach to civic leadership.

We are building, in the south a great city, around great old communities. The city has experienced through most of it’s short history of 40 years, extraordinary growth. Our city is a very popular destination for people looking for a better life opportunities. We have population growth and GDP rates twice the national average.

Our city has some extraordinary natural advantages. We have New Zealand’s pre-eminent International Airport within our boundaries. Direct access to the North Island Main Trunk Line and major motorway roading routes heading north and south, the three of the fastest growing commercial centers in New Zealand and our city is bordered by two beautiful harbours.

Manukau has been blessed with great economic growth over the years and there are matters that we need to deal with to ensure that growth is sustainable.


Without a proper integrated transport system we will not achieve strong economic growth. The increasing price of oil and the impact of carbon emissions on our environment is forcing us all to re-think our transport modes. It has now become even more crucial that we develop a rapid public transport option in our city and in the region. We need our children out of cars going to school and their parents out of cars going to work. Therefore I propose we invest in electric rail with bus links as a public transport option for Manukau.

There is still a huge volume of unfinished work relating to the proposed Eastern Corridor. Improving major roading connections from the eastern parts of our city is an essential compliment to the plan for improved public transport through buses, trains and ferry. This is critical work on which we must continue to focus. There continues to be considerable expenditure being spent and proposed to be spent on the provision of roading and major arterial routes in the southern part of the region. The commencement of SH20 to ensure direct transit for roading transport to the CBD and north on the Western Corridor is part of the mix for sustained economic development for Manukau. However roading development needs to be balanced by the plan for improved public transport through buses, trains and ferry. I am committed to achieving the right balance for our people and for our environment.


It is essential for our city’s continuing rapid and economic growth that we embrace broadband and roll it out across our city as quickly as we can. The key part of lifting economic growth and the skill and educational levels of our people is their up-take of IT technology. We need a guarantee our power supply and seek within our city alternative energy sources particularly of our waste by product. We must make urgent demands to the government for the under grounding of all power pylons within residential and commercial areas.


There has been a lot said recently about the high rates in our region and our city hasn’t escaped the rate increases. Recently the Council set our rates at 5.9% and instituted a stand-alone fee for the delivery of waste water. This will rate our people out of this city. We are going to lower the rates and re-set a policy that can work - of rate increases at a level no greater than the rate of inflation. This policy has worked in the past and with strong political management of the Council, the organisation will learn to live within its means and manage within its resources. We need to find a fairer and more equitable method of funding our city because a rates based property tax is just not fair.


Council has to control two key areas of its financial management to ensure low rates. We are funding depreciation at too high a level, and we need to review our asset management programmes to set this funding of the programme at a more realistic level. Under our present council plan our debt will be at $450 million in 10 years time. I will not allow Council debt to balloon out of control.


I am going to be innovative in government and bring in a new era of democratic involvement for our people. I will build a much better connection between our communities and our council with weekly town meetings and by empowering communities through more respectful and dynamic partnerships with local and central government.

In October last year a young man died in Otara as a result of a gang fight. Out of the community’s fears, anxieties and grief was born a Community Youth Worker Team, “274”, to work face to face with youth, on the streets, in their homes, in the parks and in the schools to give them care, hope and another path for these young people seeing gangs as cool. 274 was founded, 274 is now cool, is now hip, is now the face for the future for our young people to aspire to.


The Government has recently announced that 1,000 new police are to be employed. Many will come to our city and hopefully many will come from our city. It is essential that they go to the areas of greatest need. We need gang liaison officers to work with teams like 274, but also to work closely with local business and residential associations such as the anti-crime initiative of the Greenmount East Tamaki Business Association who run their own security services. Recently friends of mine who own a show home in Dannemora had their and neighbouring show homes burgled three nights in a row in smash and grab raids to get computer technology for easy re-sale to fuel P habits. I am going to lead change in this area so that brazen and soul destroying criminal activity is turned around.


I will be fair in my dealings with all peoples in our city, and work collaboratively with mana whenua as Treaty partners and with Taura Here. I recognize our multi-cultural diversity as a city, and respect the many gifts to the common good that our people bring to local communities and to the city as a whole.

As we move into the next stage of our city’s development there is so much for us to do together to deliver on a vision for our city. Mine includes dynamic business growth, jobs for all who seek them, safe and secure streets, clean streams and beaches, an integrated road and public transport system which supports our lives and our future growth

There is so much to do, let’s get on with the job.

I invite you to join me and our team in the campaign for my election as the Mayor of this City in 2007.


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