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Aucklanders face formidable challenges

Three years ago, I ran and won the election to become Auckland’s first Mayor, following the amalgamation of the previous eight Councils and Authorities.

Much has been achieved in the first three years, but considerable work remains to be done to bring Auckland together, strengthen our communities, and make it the world’s most liveable city.

Major challenges

It is important that the region is led by a Mayor who knows what matters to Aucklanders. We face big challenges, including high population growth, integrating the transport system, providing affordable housing and getting the Auckland economy moving.

Getting started on the Central Rail Link to tackle traffic congestion is a key priority. Moving ahead with that Project in a way which delivers a crucial piece of transport infrastructure efficiently at least cost to both ratepayers and taxpayers will require considerable attention.

Finalising the Unitary Plan and moving forward with the Special Housing Areas will address the problem of unaffordable housing. This will allow us to unlock new land by fast-tracking consents for development while requiring developers to provide for low cost housing in exchange.

Fiscal prudence

Ratepayers want a fiscally responsible mayor. In the first three years, while managing the huge shift to a single rating system, we successively cut rate increases. This year, we are limiting average rate rises to 2.9%

If elected to a second term, I will continue to deliver average rate rises of around or less than the inflation rate, aiming to get below 2.5%.

Much of what Auckland needs will only be achieved off the back of a strong economy. We must plan for growth. This will drive job growth, increase Auckland’s productivity and exports, and generate greater levels of income. If re-elected, I will continue to focus on developing a more innovative economy while building links with our major trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tourism is also an area in which the Council must focus, alongside working with the government to tackle youth unemployment.

Infrastructure Projects

We can also deliver on environmental and infrastructure projects, which will help to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city, including work on reducing carbon emissions, improving harbour water quality, and developing and protecting land for parks and recreation.

Auckland’s waterfront is being transformed and this will continue to be a priority.

My first term has been dominated by the challenges of amalgamating the previous Councils and authorities into a single Council structure.

We have put in place the foundations for Auckland to move forward with unity on a number of significant projects. If elected to a second term, I will continue to focus on the issues which matter most to Aucklanders.

I also want to extend free entry to swimming pools to all in the community, keeping them healthy, active and safe.

We have put in place the foundations for Auckland to move forward with unity on a number of significant projects. If elected to a second term, I will continue to focus on the issues which matter most to Aucklanders.

Len Brown is Mayor of Auckland. The above article is exclusive to Indian Newslink.

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