Now Aucklanders have a choice…rates increases or rates decreases

John Palino has announced he is standing for Mayor again and dropped a bombshell on every other candidate…he’s pushing for a 10% rates reduction in his first term.

I am announcing that I will be standing for Auckland Mayor this year!

I am putting my name forward because I believe that Auckland has not realised its potential. Auckland has the potential to be a great city, but the Super City has not delivered for ratepayers.

Our rates have gone up massively.

Our council debt has gone up massively.

Our services are not as good as they were under our old council.

Today I am announcing my commitment to Auckland. As Mayor I will reduce your rates by 10% across my first term.

I have engaged Larry Mitchell, one of New Zealand’s foremost Local Government financial experts to prepare an alternative budget.

This budget, which I will be releasing later in the campaign, will deliver on the promises of cost savings and efficiencies we were promised when the Super City formed.

Every ratepayer knows their services have reduced and their rates have increased.

We have not received the benefits of the Super City. Auckland Council has wasted money on non core spending, treating ratepayers like an unlimited ATM that they can take as much money as they like from.

That is why I believe we can cut rates by 10% over the next three years. This is the first step to returning Aucklanders’ rates to realistic levels.

Over the next few weeks I will be launching sensible policies and pragmatic policies that will protect Auckland ratepayers from a council that has taken far too much of their hard-earned money.

I was really surprised when no one, particularly Victoria Crone, picked up Larry Mitchell’s report on local government. But that’s politics; you can either make judgements on appearances, rumour and innuendo or you can look at facts.

John Palino has looked at the facts and seen that considerable rates savings can be made. Good on him…he is now providing a real choice, and some proper policy right from the get go. Other candidates like Goff and Crone announced their candidacy and promptly went on holiday with no policy to be seen as yet. That was a mistake and one Palino has capitalised on.

Bill Ralston is probably wishing he’d shut up on Friday when he decided to dance with his own conflicts of interests and slag off Palino…his favourite Crone (who’s media training her?) hasn’t laid out a single policy. Ralston himself is standing for council. What is his position on rates? Increases or decreases?

The pressure is now on.

The Media party, of course, are making a song and dance about the past. Palino countered that with a real zinger.

Facing a barrage of media questions at his official campaign launch on Monday, the American businessman flatly rejected allegations he put Brown’s mistress Bevan Chuang up to revealing her two-year affair with the mayor just after his re-election.

“I don’t know why people are going on about that,” he said.

“I wasn’t the one who was found with his pants down in the Ngati Whatua Room,” he said, referring to details about the affair.

Yet again the Media party are focussing on the trivial and ignoring what it is ratepayers want to hear, which is that finally a politician is promising rates reductions.

Of all the announcements thus far, this is the one with the most substance.

Aucklanders now have a real choice.


– Fairfax

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