“My Vision for Auckland„

“Auckland I Hear You”

My vision and my plan for Auckland has remained unchanged for the past 6 years, during which time I have watched on helplessly as Auckland Council has slowly created one of the most unlivable cities out of one of the most livable.  Yes my fellow Aucklanders the verdict is in…The compact ‘Super City’ experiment has failed.

As the old saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result each time. Electing the same old career politicians again this election will prove the majority of voters are indeed insane, and that the thought of throwing good money after bad is an acceptable way to run a city.

Auckland needs a new vision along with a pragmatic growth strategy and plan, not just for its existing residents, but also to be able to accommodate our children and the half a million additional people projected to come to the region in the coming decades.  I have that vision, and I have the strategy and the plan to achieve it.

My vision is for an Auckland of choice where Aucklanders can afford to live, choose where to live, where to work, and how to get around. To make this vision for a region of choice into a reality, I will priorities council spending on projects, developments and infrastructure which provide the most homes and jobs in the same location.

Auckland being a large ‘Region’, and not just a metropolis, it must have multiple business centres where people can work close to where they live. Just imagine 50,000 new jobs being created in South Auckland in a new ‘Southern CBD’ where people would not only work, but also live and play. This new Southern CBD would be planned and built from the ground up, with all the required infrastructure in place from the very beginning, rather than the continual ‘add-on’ and highly disruptive planning methods of the current town planners.

Now imagine doing the same thing with a new ‘Northern CBD’ north of the harbour bridge. Just think how much better it would be for Auckland and Aucklanders if they had real choice about where they could live and work.

A smart city with smart leadership and strategic long term planning vision and goals, plans for its schools, universities, parks, healthcare, roading, transport networks, entertainment and sports facilities, decades in advance. A City that has planned well for its future is a city where people are happy to live, and is a city that produces economic growth and attracts investment from innovative businesses and people. When this happens all Aucklanders will benefit. We need to think not just about ourselves, but also about our children and grandchildren, and type of city we want them to grow up and live in.

My plan gets people out of their cars, not because they are being forced to get out of them through bad planning from a dictatorial council, but because they won’t need them as often. This is how you give people back the thing that is most important to them, time. Time to spend with their family and friends, time to pursue interests and hobbies, to be entertained, and to get outdoors to enjoy all of the great things the region has to offer. Or to put it in its simplest way…time to have a life.

So to recap: By building multiple CBD’s in other parts of the Auckland region, rather than just putting all of our eggs in the current ‘Central CBD’ basket, we will:

  1. Reduce congestion and get public transportation working for the benefit of all.
  2. Help produce affordable housing in places people are happy to live.
  3. Encourage economic development i.e. create jobs.
  4. Create these jobs close to where people live.
  5. Give people back their time to enjoy life.

We will also think ‘green’ while doing this by:

  1. Build using green energy, materials, and smart technology where ever possible.
  2. Creating a green environment where living, playing and working impact the environment as little as possible.

With Auckland being a region, and not just a metropolitan city, the amalgamation should have been for infrastructure only. Local planning and community issues should have been left for the ‘locals’ who live each area to decide for themselves, and not for some far off bureaucrats who may have never even visited the area to make decisions for them.

We need to bring the local councils back to the communities, where council staff and decision makers are familiar with, and have an understanding of ‘their’ area, and will be capable of making quicker decisions that are also much more beneficial to their area. So let’s put the ‘local’ back into ‘local’ by having council people who understand the turf they are working in.

Auckland’s growth challenge provides an amazing opportunity for all of us if handled in a strategic and carefully planned way. Do we really want to keep retro fitting the city over and over again, and keep lurching from infrastructure crisis to crisis? I sure don’t, and I am sure you all feel the same. With your support together we can turn this city around and get it back on the right path.

Help me, John Palino, to help you Make Auckland Great Again!