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┬áthe┬áMedia 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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  • Rebecca

    I’m wondering how easily Palino can actually enact sensible policies. Because all evidence is that a mayor acting alone is a “tale of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Those who recall Hubbard’s reign will remember how easily a mayor can be white anted, especially if there’s a bloc of counselors to obfuscate and drive policy promises into committee. Once in committee, every delay results in income for the lumpen delayers, while the visionary’s morale and effectiveness bleeds away to the death of a thousand cuts.

    So I’d be interested to see how Palino can engage a full termite Council followed by the hidden entrenched bureaucrats who want to spend and expand internal empires for their own glorification.

    For a start it would be good to see him identify potential/preferred Council allies so voters can give him a chance to do what he says.

  • Steve

    A breath of fresh air to be honest. Last time around I voted for Palino for no other reason but to get rid of Brown. Now he has given me sound reasons to vote for him. Just watch Goff now spend time being negative in discounting these policies in the manifesto, without actually standing for anything himself

    • George Carter

      I did the same thing last time. As you say now there’s even more reason to vote for him now.

    • Miss McGerkinshaw

      Now, almost, beginning to feel sorry I’ve moved out of Auckland so I can’t put a tick next to his name again. Hopefully Aucklander’s will see his abilities.

  • Martin

    It is a great initiative of Palino to write a book laying out his vision, and I hope it becomes a trend. With the easiest path to power for an aspirant politician currently to follow the Michael Moore prescription of “find an angry mob and agree with them” it would be great to get a few more visionaries laying out an optimal situation and lay out a path that might get us there. That Phil Goff is the front-runner for this incredibly important job is a clear sign that the system is terribly sick in its present form. We need more prophets and far far fewer priests.

  • GoingRight

    I like the idea of more “hubs” such as in Manukau, out west and Albany area. Makes enormous sense. Also like the idea of having a review of all the cycles ways that have spread all over Auckland that no cyclists use but have pushed the cars down to one or two lanes causing chaos. We voted for Palino last time and will most likely do so again. Don’t think much of Vic and certainly don’t want another Lenny Mark 2!

    • Rebecca

      Agreed. There’s simply no good purpose to go downtown during the working week in 2016, apart from visiting your lawyer or accountant who seems to believe that an office with a harbour view is expected of them.
      Instead, give me a virtual office or Gotomeeting session that saves everybody time and money. The days when we all needed to trundle around to see each other are gone: better to free up the roads for transport of things that cannot escape physical presence such as food and construction materials.

      • biscuit barrel

        Its part of the Unitary plan too.

  • George Carter

    Great to see from a serious candidate. However, I do worry that he’s not getting the publicity compared to other candidates but then I don’t watch TV1 or TV3 news so that’s just a cut feel rather than based on anything specific.

  • sheppy

    Sensible stuff from Palino, Auckland would be a much better place if he’d got in last time instead of Lyin’ Adulterous Len

  • Joe Banana

    At last some sensible policy from a candidate for Mayor.That idiot Crone would do well to pull out now as she is well out of her depth in this.
    Goff can only quote from the labour prayer book so hopefully ratepayers will see him for what he is

    • Oh Please

      Unfortunately the small turnouts at local elections plays right into the socialist hands. The idiot left will never change their vote – the right needs to be mobilised otherwise get will be stuck with Brown in disguise.

  • Gladwin

    Good stuff but he can’t do it by himself. He needs to identify like minded councillors that we can vote for to effect his plan.

  • kayaker

    Mr K and I voted for John Palino at the last election and will be doing so again this time. We’ve spoken to him at a few business functions – to us, he seems to be the best bet.

  • At last, someone who has none of the ideological leftist clap trap. It would be great if the Auckland voters would elect Palino and other like-minded councilor’s.
    However, I fear Auckland will end up with too many councilor’s from the left and the massive culture change required within the Auckland City Council will fall short.

    Wake up Auckland……..think carefully……..because it’s your last chance to get it right!

    • Time for Crone to gracefully withdraw I think.

      • Oh Please

        Absolutely. All she can achieve is victory for Goff.

        • biscuit barrel

          You are not facing reality. Brown won the first time with only Banks as his major opponent. Just clearing the field achieves nothing, will still lose against Goff.

          • Oh Please

            You are probably right, as the left bother to turn out to local elections while the right doesn’t to the same degree.

  • BR

    Part of what he seems to be saying is that he is going to sack large numbers of bureaucrats and other officious stickybeaks. That is the only substantive way to reduce rates. If this is the case he will certainly get my vote, and I will strongly encourage other ratepayers to vote for him.


  • johnandali

    I like the idea of toll roads. Tolls make one think twice about whether to go somewhere or not. When I travel on the Southern Motorway, I often wonder just where all those cars are going. For instance, in mid-afternoon, the traffic going south can be at a stand-still. Why? Surely it’s not parents picking up their kids from school. So why is there so much traffic on the road? Why are people not at work? Why is it so necessary to use the road at peak hours? Best answer. Make them pay a dollar or two to travel on busy roads between certain hours. Result (hopefully) very much reduced congestion. Palino got my vote last time. And I’ll vote for him again this time.

    • biscuit barrel

      The motorway is a state highway and governments problem. Mayors and councils have no say on roads like that.

  • biscuit barrel

    Im a bit baffled by Palino calling Los Angeles traffic problems on ‘intensification, when its the classic case of a city designed to built as a sprawl. His idea that New York works better than LA ignores its heavy reliance on rail public transport ( he gets his numbers jumbled too Manhattan has 1.6 mill residents not 2.6 mill, thats Brooklyn and Queens which are the places with ‘intensification’
    Also he correctly says all the problems with special Maori seats, unelected and not even representative of Maori, and then says he wants to ‘review’ it.

    National once went into government with a policy of reviewing Maori seats and now depends on them.

    The citizens panel should be expanded to be a US style inspector general, who can see all paperwork, but is only responsible the Council ,not the CEO. A citizens panel would just be a ombudsman style toothless scold.

  • biscuit barrel

    “All council spending will be put online”

    Is this policy to get the support of Penny Bright, as thats her principal schtick

    Not sure about ‘online’, would achieve same purpose to give councillors access to the SAP software that tracks all spending so they are not told lies about budgets getting blown but would know every month where they are tracking

  • Rick H

    Go Palino.
    Sack all the dead wood in office there.
    Hire a new set of councilors who want to help AKL, instead of staying in a job they can’t be bothered doing properly.
    Time for an accountable Council, with a decen Mayor in charge.