By now, it is likely that I have met you in the street, shook your hand or visited your community.
For the past 18 months, I have been working hard every day to gain your support.
It has been a great voyage. I am hoping this will just be the beginning as I step into my new role as Mayor of Auckland (Super City).
If you have not seen it yet, my newest billboard says “Give him the job, he’ll get it done.”
What does that mean?
Well, the first three years of the Auckland Council would be critical and we have to get it right. There will be bumps on the road, hiccups and uncertainty, since we have never done this before.
It is also a time of excitement and more so opportunity.
We need a safe pair of hands; someone who would not spend your money recklessly and in doing so, drive up your rates.
We need someone who can make tough decisions under pressure and extreme scrutiny.
We need someone, who at the end of the first term would have made the Council work.
I am that person.
My opponent from Manukau says that this election is about ‘Trust.’
I could not agree more.
You can trust me to keep rates down, proved by my record as a two-term Mayor of Auckland City.
I am probably the only Mayor of a major city who has kept rates at or below inflation.
In 2007, Manukau City Mayor promised that he would do that for the vulnerable communities in South Auckland. By his own admission, he failed year after year to keep that promise.
On rates, there is only one candidate you can trust to keep them down.
That is me, John Banks.
Throughout this Election campaign, many candidates have made many promises.
What I have always said is that I will not over-promise and under-deliver.
I will never promise everything to everyone as my opponent has done, because eventually it would be you and your family that would be forced to pay.
Last year, Manukau City overspent its budget by $74 million. It had predicted $28 million surplus but delivered $46 million deficit.
This deficit had to be borrowed. Your children and your grandchildren will have to pay back in the future.
Statistics New Zealand website shows that Auckland City delivered $4 million surplus against predicted $5 million.
When it comes to using your rates carefully, there is only one candidate you can trust – John Banks.
A resident of Howick, living in a $750,000 house, has had 20% increase in property rates under the Manukau Mayor. A resident of Mount Eden in a similar valued property has had 8% increase under my Mayoralty.
It is your decision. Who do you think will provide consistent, confident, stable and decisive leadership? I am that person and I will make one promise, that if you give me the job, I will get it done.
That is a promise I can keep.
John Banks, who is currently Mayor of Auckland City, is the Mayoral candidate for the new Auckland (Super) City Council.