Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Mark Thomas standing for Auckland Council

Former mayoral candidate Mark Thomas will stand for Auckland Council at this year’s election in the renamed Albert-Eden- Puketāpapa ward. He will be running as a Communities & Residents candidate together with incumbent councillor Chris Fletcher.

Mr Thomas returned to Auckland at the start of the year after two years working in Asia, based in Singapore, expanding his smart cities technology business. He received the Leadership Award for Outstanding Contribution towards building smart cities from the World Sustainability Forum and is part of the Top 50 Most Impactful Smart City Leaders 2019. He previously served two terms on the Orakei Local Board.

Thomas said despite recent investment and progress in some areas, Auckland is struggling on too many measures.

“As Auckland Council completes its first nine years, few people tell me they are celebrating. Cost blow-outs, delays and infighting has coloured too much council business. New generation leadership is needed for the 2020’s, to make smarter, more effective progress.”

“There may be record cranes in the sky, but on the ground only 52% of building consents were processed within the 20-day timeframe.”

“Public transport may be hitting records not seen since the 1950’s, but Auckland became the most congested city in Australasia this year with rush hour journeys taking on average 50% longer.

“Auckland’s competiveness has fallen relative to Australasian cities. Auckland was the only city in a recent PWC study to experience a real decline in discretionary income.”

“Only 21% of Aucklanders are satisfied with Auckland council and just 20% trust it. This may have something do with almost one third of the regions eighty monitored beaches being unsafe for swimming.”

Mr Thomas said cities he had worked in Asia with more complex demographic, economic and geographic problems were making greater progress. He has a list of initial ideas he will be discussing with Aucklanders in his ward based on his work overseas.

Initial Policy Platform


• Build business and resident adjustment funding support into any light rail plan
• Local board delegation for local transport issues
• Short-term funding for a Dominion Road upgrade


• Resolve Unitary Plan and council weaknesses holding up new housing developments
• Introduce Brisbane-style Area Plans to better protect urban character
• Develop a smart city plan for Auckland.
• Establish a new region-wide Auckland economic development plan
• Champion a Council-led change to Unitary Plan for Eden Park.
• Reorganise Council leadership to create a Chief Technology function


• Update the Low Carbon Auckland Action Plan to better incentivise energy efficient building
• Partner with a utilities companies to boost the renewable energy target for Auckland

“Non” Council Controlled Organisations

• Appoint elected members to Auckland Transport board, and as board advisors on other CCO’s
• Tie Council CCO funding more closely tied to CCO performance


• Fund top three agreed local board priorities in Long Term Plan.
• Establish an Independent Citizens Jury to monitor and report on council
• Reform council standing orders. No more 6 hour debates.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Land, Air & Sea: Regions To Benefit From NZ Upgrade

Regional New Zealand will be a hive of activity in the coming months as the New Zealand Upgrade Programme delivers on its promise to modernise our infrastructure, prepare for climate change and help grow our economy. As part of the $12 billion NZ Upgrade Programme announced by the Government last month, $300 million was allocated for capital projects in regional New Zealand.
The first package of regional projects – worth about $190 million – has been announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones at an infrastructure seminar today... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Donations Scandals

By now, it seems crystal clear that something is deeply amiss with the way that New Zealand political parties solicit, receive and report their funding. Evidently, the nominal threshold of $15,000 that requires public disclosure of the donation ... More>>


New Zealand Government: Action On Fuel Market Competition

The Government has released a comprehensive response to ensuring New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump. This follows the Commerce Commission fuel market ... More>>


Child Poverty: 18,400 Children Lifted Out Of Poverty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels