Wednesday, April 17, 2024

COMMENT: New leadership for Auckland

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New Auckland mayor Wayne Brown.

By Simeon Brown

Auckland has a new mayor, Wayne Brown, and a new majority centre-right council following the recent local elections, the first time Auckland has had a mayor who was not backed by the Labour Party since the amalgamation of Auckland in 2010.

I congratulate Wayne on his election as mayor, who has promised to get Auckland back on track by bringing spending under control and getting council re-focused on the core services it is responsible for.

I also congratulate our two councillors for Howick – Sharon Stewart, who was re-elected and has a long track record of service in our community, and Maurice Williamson, the former MP for Pakuranga, both of whom have committed to the same goals as our new mayor.

I also wish to congratulate the nine members elected to the Howick Local Board, with new member Damian Light joining existing members Adele White, John Spiller, Bo Burns, Katrina Bungard, David Collings, Bruce Kendall, Mike Turinsky and Peter Young.

I want to also thank Paul Young, our outgoing councillor, and Bob Wichmann, who retired from the Howick Local Board at this election, for their service to east Auckland. Paul served as one of our councillors for four years, while Bob served on the Local Board for nine, in addition to his prior service as a Manukau City councillor before the Super City merger.

With the local election now done and dusted, it is time to focus on what we can all do for Auckland. These elections sent a clear message to our local representatives that Aucklanders are tired of left-wing ideological policies which are fundamentally about trying to tell you how you should live your life.

Whether it is radically reducing speed limits, removing speed limits in our town centres, installing speed bumps on major arterial roads, or $29.2bn light rail pet projects, the message from the local elections were clear. People want their council to be focusing on core services, not trying to tell us how to live our lives, or spend billions on projects which won’t actually address our transport challenges in Auckland.

I look forward to working with our new mayor and council, particularly on transport issues as it is one of the areas where there is a clear need for a different approach. Our city has so much potential and I look forward to working with our local representatives to unlock it.

On a national level, the Auckland results were reflected in most parts of New Zealand, with Kiwis electing centre-right mayors and representatives in many regions.

People are tired of this Labour Government telling them it knows best how to run their lives; they are ready for a fresh start, and National is ready to deliver.

Congratulations again to all our local representatives for the Howick Ward. I look forward to working with you.

  • Simeon Brown is MP for Pakuranga

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