Palino issues a book/manifesto of his policies

John Palino has clearly been putting some thought into his mayoralty bid and has released a book/manifesto.

It is called “A Vision for Auckland

Bernard Orsman has reviewed it:

Cutting rates by 10 per cent and an attack on the ideologically driven compact city model are part of John Palino’s manifesto for the Auckland mayoralty.

The New Jersey-born, New York-trained hospitality businessman has written a book, A Vision for Auckland, in the lead-up to a second tilt at the Super City mayoralty.

The 93-page book, which reads as a manifesto, outlines an alternative strategy to make Auckland the best city in the world.

“Aucklanders have not received the ‘Super City dividend’,” said Mr Palino who polled 108,928 votes to Len Brown’s 164,338 in 2013.

“Over the last six years we have had a dysfunctional mayor and council, who have drastically increased rates, massively increased debt and imposed restrictive and expensive regulations and processes on all Aucklanders,” he said.

His policies to solve the problems Auckland and Aucklanders have includes cutting rates by 10 per cent over three years, introducing an Auckland Ratepayers Bill of Rights and a Citizens Decision Review Panel to allow Aucklanders to appeal against stupid decisions made by council staff.

Mr Palino has promised to make council spending transparent and to focus on core services, promote economic growth with business friendly processes and limit iwi consultation to genuine cultural issues.

That sounds very promising, especially the rates cuts and the Ratepayers Bill of Rights. This really ups the ante on other candidates.

Orsman comments on specific policies:

On the financial front, Mr Palino said he will find savings through efficiencies, better procurement practices, lower staffing costs and reducing non-core and wasteful spending to cut rates by 10 per cent. All council spending will be put online.

“I will be dedicating 25 per cent of the mayor’s office budget to seeking costs savings and efficiency gains,” he said.

His Auckland Ratepayers Bill of Rights will keep the total rate take to no more than the rate of inflation, require a referendum to raise rates above inflation and return any surplus rates to ratepayers or paying down debt.

The centre-right mayoral candidate is “neither ideologically for nor against asset sales”, saying he would not advocate selling Auckland Airport shares, given their rise in value; but can see no reason for not selling the port business but keeping the “prime waterfront land” for the people of Auckland.

With those promises even Penny bright should be getting on board. I really like the proposal for a Ratepayers Bill of Rights. This is going to seriously put pressure on Phil Goff and Vic Crone, both of whom have so far had a policy free campaign hoping to get by on name recognition or tacit if unofficial endorsement from National.

On transport we have even more sensible proposals:

On transport, Mr Palino does not support congestion charges on existing roads, but toll roads for new roads where there is a sound business case.

“Auckland Council had essentially tied itself in ideological knots over transport,” said Mr Palino, pointing to the city rail link as the only major transport project.

The city rail link has a very poor business case and a flawed premise of more and more people travelling to the CBD, he said.

“Actively encouraging and allowing intensification of satellite CBDs close to the existing transport structure is a sensible long term strategy.”

Mr Palino would move forward on roading projects, such as the east-west connection between Onehunga and Mt Wellington and a second harbour crossing.

Bucking the current push for more cycleways, Mr Palino said as a small business owner he was aware of how much removing parking for cycleways can cost business and annoy people.

As mayor I will institute a review of cycleways and have an open mind, rather than an ideological approach,” he said.

Good stuff.

Bernard Orsman appears to have made a good fist of the review. Credit to John Palino for actually delivering up some policy and details. It’s just a shame he launched it today with all the Media party sidetracked with the Panama Papers.

Voters now have a clear choice. More of the same with Phil Goff, rates increases with Vic Crone or rate decreases and more power returning to ratepayers with John Palino.

About the only thing left out of his manifesto is recall elections. Now that would have been a fine proposal.


– NZ Herald, John Palino for Mayor

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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