Mark Thomas

That’s it, it isn’t safe to vote for any Auckland Mayoral candidate

I was going to put up a recommended voter guide for the Auckland Council elections.

But after today I?can no longer support any mayoral candidate.

Three leading mayoral candidates have backed the idea of dedicated seats for M?ori on the Auckland Council, but one of them, Phil Goff, would leave it to the government to decide.

Mr Goff – along with John Palino and Chloe Swarbrick – said he would support M?ori seats but, in today’s Radio Waatea debate, both Mark Thomas and Vic Crone opposed them.

Mr Goff was asked directly whether he would support dedicated M?ori seats.

“I’d say ‘yes’, John Key says ‘no’, so it’s not going to happen,” he told a live audience gathered at a marae in Mangere. ? Read more »

Auckland Mayor Campaign Videos

So all readers can assess whether these candidates are up to it.

Palino has well-constructed video.

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26 Candidates have signed the 2% Ratepayer Protection Pledge.

The list of candidates who have signed the Ratepayer Protection Pledge has been e-mailed to me by the the Auckland Ratepayers? Alliance. ?The pledge prevents those candidates from voting for any measures which increase the total average burden of rates, levies, and other compulsory Council charges, more than 2% per annum.

To date, 25 candidates have agreed to sign the pledge. Those who have agreed to keep levy or rate hikes under 2% include all Communities and Residents candidates, and four mayoral candidates.

Although Auckland Future candidates have confirmed that they will not be signing our pledge,?they insist that their own pledge achieves the same outcomes. Albany candidate Lisa Whyte said their pledge is ?complementary to yours? and that they are ?committed to the same values?.?Whilst disappointed Auckland Future candidates are not signing, we?anticipate them holding fast to their assurances that they will?limit annual rates increases?to an average of no more than 2% and honour their own pledge.

List of candidates who are on board:

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Mark Thomas is right – people will be ?living on Mars? before the port is moved

John Palino wants the port moved and provided some analysis on how that might be achieved. Vic Crone also wants it moved but has no idea how to move it, it’s just blocking her view. Phil Goff is just echoing what his corporate donors are saying.

Mark Thomas says that people will be living on Mars before the port is ever moved, and he’s right.

NBR reports:

Even if Auckland Council?s Port Future Study recommends moving Auckland?s downtown wharves, mayoral contender Mark Thomas says it will be pie in the sky.

Mr Thomas says people will be ?living on Mars? before the port is moved as there are higher priorities for the city.

He says the port is a low priority for the thousands of Aucklanders he has spoken to during his campaigning. ?? Read more »

Why won’t Vic Crone debate anyone and why is her team strong-arming debate organisers?

Vic Crone

Not a good look for Vic Crone and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out who on her team is strong-arming organisers of debates.

Two Auckland mayoral candidates aren’t happy at being invited and then excluded from an election event being organised by a ratepayer-funded business group.

Mark Thomas and John Palino said they were invited to the South Harbour Business Association candidate event, but then removed from the line-up, leaving just Vic Crone and Phil Goff.

Mr Palino said he was invited by email to join a line-up including Phil Goff and Mark Thomas, but 20 minutes later received another email withdrawing the invitation.

Mr Thomas said he believed he’d been excluded after an objection from rival centre-right candidate Ms Crone.

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Is Joe Davis Ratfucking Vic Crone?

Any decent political analyst knows that Phil Goff will become Mayor of?Auckland because there are too many candidates on the right.

In an ideal world the right wing candidates would be smart enough to work together, run a defacto primary and decide who?should run and win?because?they will all lose otherwise.

This requires goodwill between candidates. Candidates need a rapport and?mutual respect to do deals, or else they will think??fuck it if I cannot win I am?buggered if I will let X win?.

Which makes Mark Thomas??Facebook challenge to Vic Crone seem as if Joe Davis? strategy is going to ratfuck Vic Crone.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 3.47.09 PM Read more »

Not a silly idea

Mark Thomas has had a good idea.

An Auckland mayoral candidate’s plan to sell most of the council’s shares in the airport has the Government’s cautious approval.

Mark Thomas, businessman and member of the Orakei Local Board, wants to reduce Auckland Council’s share of Auckland International Airport down to 10 percent, and use the proceeds to invest in housing and transport.

The council’s 10-year plan is to spend about $2.3 billion a year on transport, which Mr Thomas says needs to be $300 million higher.

“We’ve looked at debt, we’ve looked at rates increases. Aucklanders don’t favour those, I don’t favour them either,” Mr Thomas told Paul Henry this morning.

“But what the reports show is we’ve got these assets that I think we could look at swapping into other investments.”

Cutting the council’s share in the airport will bring in up to $800 million, says Mr Thomas. While he admits this will see the council lose out on dividends, improvements in transport infrastructure will see congestion costs drop.

“I was in Huapai, northwest Auckland, at the weekend. The special housing areas are creating a lot of pressure on the existing infrastructure. We’ve got to do more, put more of our share in to get roads built.”

It’s estimated Auckland’s traffic congestion costs the country $1.25 billion a year.

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Auckland Mayoral candidate: I?ll give you a choice – do you want me to increase rates, or increase rates more?

So, this is the first shot from a centre-right candidate to counter John Palino’s promise of a rates reduction.

Mark Thomas, who rated around 1% in Labour pollster UMR’s poll of candidates, is giving ratepayers a choice…an increase in rates or a larger increase in rates.

Auckland mayoral candidate Mark Thomas says he will give ratepayers a choice to freeze rates or a rates increase of about 2 per cent or 4 per cent to pay for projects in their area.

“My approach will tie any rates increase Aucklanders approve more clearly to specific local projects. This is a version of the targeted rate mechanism council already uses,” Mr Thomas said today.

The Orakei Local Board member and centre-right candidate said he would find $35 million in savings to freeze rates in his first budget, mostly from savings in the $422 million governance budget, but also savings in community services and economic and cultural development budgets.

He said people in the north, west, centre, east, south and rural areas would vote to endorse growth tied to their area, or the option of a rates freeze.

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Mark Thomas wants to spend money differently

Who is Mark Thomas, you might ask?? Exactly. He’s running to be the next mayor of Auckland, so in the interest of balance:

Auckland mayoral candidate Mark Thomas has announced his top three priorities:

1. Make council more affordable by focusing our $3.5billion annual expenditure more tightly and effectively.

2. Deliver better transport sooner by diverting more funding to it from the current poorly allocated spending, and reprioritising regional spending buckets to specific local priorities.

3. Achieve more effective growth planning which both builds more affordable houses sooner and does a much better job protecting the character of Auckland.

Mark is a business executive with an extensive community leadership background. He?s run an Auckland-based consulting and services business ?Serviceworks? for 10 years which included owning and operating a Metro Top 50 restaurant. Mark has held senior management roles in the banking and energy industries, including Head of Group Marketing at ANZ Bank.

Mr Thomas says that even though candidates like Phil Goff get more media coverage, he believes he can win.

?I?m not here for a badge of honour. I?ve got key National Party people on my team.?

He says there are too many staff in Auckland Council and to combat this he will cap the amount of money he gives to the CEO who controls staff numbers and costs.

Having “key” National Party people on your team isn’t working for “Vic” and, so far, it hasn’t worked for Mark either.

Let’s break it down: Read more »

Red Radio lines up three Auckland Mayoral candidates

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