Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

Auckland Not Part Of State Of Nation?

The Opposition Leader’s lack of focus on Auckland issues in his state of the nation speech today was puzzling says Auckland Mayoral Candidate Mark Thomas.

“There was no mention of any specific policy to help deal with Auckland’s transport, housing and affordability challenges.”

“This was in marked contrast to John Key’s speech also in Auckland earlier in the week with a $4.2 billion transport investment package around the region over the next four years.”

Thomas thought it unusual for any Opposition Leader to hold a state of the nation speech in the heart of the country’s largest city in a local government election year and have nothing to say on the approach any government he led would take on Auckland’s key issues.

Thomas was the only mayoral candidate who attended both major party leader speeches this week.

“My mayoral campaign focus is on the changes I can lead as Mayor to make our region more affordable, deliver more of the transport projects people want and improve housing supply.”

“However Auckland is best served when both major party leaders are straight with Auckland about its priority in their thinking. The annual state of the nation speech is the time to do that.”

“Some at John Key’s speech wanted more comment from him on Auckland housing affordability policies. In contrast, although there will be some interest in Andrew Little’s future of work ideas, more was wanting from the Opposition Leader today about Auckland in general.”

Thomas said the only reference Andrew Little made to Auckland was when he acknowledged Labour’s mayoral candidate Phil Goff.

“If I was Mr Goff, I would have been hoping for a more compelling speech from my leader addressing the transport, cost of living and housing issues we hear about daily.”

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