Posted on May 31, 2019
Former mayoral candidate Mark Thomas will stand for Auckland Council at this year’s election in the renamed Albert-Eden- Puketāpapa ward. He will be running as a Communities & Residents candidate together with incumbent councillor Chris Fletcher.
Mr Thomas returned to Auckland at the start of the year after two years working in Asia, based in Singapore, expanding his smart cities technology business. He received the Leadership Award for Outstanding Contribution towards building smart cities from the World Sustainability Forum and is part of the Top 50 Most Impactful Smart City Leaders 2019. He previously served two terms on the Orakei Local Board.
Thomas said despite recent investment and progress in some areas, Auckland is struggling on too many measures.
“As Auckland Council completes its first nine years, few people tell me they are celebrating. Cost blow-outs, delays and infighting has coloured too much council business. New generation leadership is needed for the 2020’s, to make smarter, more effective progress.”
“There may be record cranes in the sky, but on the ground only 52% of building consents were processed within the 20-day timeframe.”
“Public transport may be hitting records not seen since the 1950’s, but Auckland became the most congested city in Australasia this year with rush hour journeys taking on average 50% longer.
“Auckland’s competiveness has fallen relative to Australasian cities. Auckland was the only city in a recent PWC study to experience a real decline in discretionary income.”
“Only 21% of Aucklanders are satisfied with Auckland council and just 20% trust it. This may have something do with almost one third of the regions eighty monitored beaches being unsafe for swimming.”
Mr Thomas said cities he had worked in Asia with more complex demographic, economic and geographic problems were making greater progress. He has a list of initial ideas he will be discussing with Aucklanders in his ward based on his work overseas.
• Build business and resident adjustment funding support into any light rail plan
• Local board delegation for local transport issues
• Short-term funding for a Dominion Road upgrade
• Resolve Unitary Plan and council weaknesses holding up new housing developments
• Introduce Brisbane-style Area Plans to better protect urban character
• Develop a smart city plan for Auckland
• Establish a new region-wide Auckland economic development plan
• Champion a Council-led change to Unitary Plan for Eden Park.
• Reorganise Council leadership to create a Chief Technology function
• Update the Low Carbon Auckland Action Plan to better incentivise energy efficient building
• Partner with a utilities companies to boost the renewable energy target for Auckland
“Non” Council Controlled Organisations
• Appoint elected members to Auckland Transport board, and as board advisors on other CCO’s
• Tie Council CCO funding more closely tied to CCO performance
• Fund top three agreed local board priorities in Long Term Plan.
• Establish an Independent Citizens Jury to monitor and report on council
• Reform council standing orders. No more 6 hour debates.