John Minto at the Mayoral debate



E nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe – Ngati Whatua – kia ora koutou
E nga hau e wha – nga mihi nui ki a koutou
Greetings everyone

Auckland is the most unequal city in New Zealand – there is extreme wealth enjoyed by a tiny few while the majority struggle. It’s a city run for East Parnell while in West and South Auckland in particular families struggle from day to day and week to week. Auckland is a city where half our workers are paid less than $24,000 a year while last year less than 100 received close to $3 billion in unearned, untaxed income.

It’s a city of unliveable wages, unaffordable housing and endless traffic gridlock.

And it’s getting worse because central government policy is aided by a “smile and wave” Auckland mayor who rolls over every time big business or the government come calling.
That’s why we have a mayor who backs a national convention centre funded off the backs of low-income families via 230 extra pokie machines and extra gaming tables for Sky city casino. It’s a disgrace and the mayor should be ashamed.
That’s why we have a mayor who’s signed up – on 24 July last year – to the destruction of state homes in Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure and the turfing out the families onto the scrapheap – and what for? To make a seaside suburb for the wealthy – so much for a mayor who says he’s concerned about affordable housing.
That’s why we have a mayor who refused to back his own council workers when they were under attack – and are still under attack – from a vicious, thuggish council employer – the Ports of Auckland – more shame behavior from our mayor.

Our city structure was designed by Rodney Hide and the Act Party and it doesn’t fit. It’s unacceptable that corporate appointees on Auckland’s Council Controlled Organisations spend 75% of our rates without being under the democratic control of the council.

In my vision all this changes. My Auckland in 20 years will be run for the 99% and this is how we’ll do it –

1. We will pay everyone employed by the council and council contractors the living wage of $18.40 an hour and we will pay for this by slashing the salaries of senior managers at the council. 123 of these managers and executives are paid more than $200,000 each – more than the combined salary bill for all NZ members of parliament! We will set the maximum salary at five times the living wage so the CEO will be paid $191,000 rather than $768,759 and the mayor’s salary will be slashed to $150,000 or four times the living wage.

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2. We will build 20,000 good quality, affordable, council rental homes for Auckland families because this is where the need is greatest.

3. We will end traffic gridlock within 12 months at less than half the cost of the government’s new roads and we’ll give Aucklanders another hour at home with their family every workday. We will do this with fare-free public transport – no cash, no cards – jump on and go as far as you need to. We pay for this from already budgeted funding for roads we won’t need. The 1950s thinking that we can tarseal our way out of gridlock is plain stupid. Other cities around the world are moving to free public transport – we should join them.

4. We will campaign for income related rates and in the meantime will shift the rates burden from families on low and middle incomes.

My vision is a city where the mayor works for all Aucklanders – not just the wealthy few and their hangers on…

Unlike Len Brown, when you vote for me you know which side I’m on…

(John Minto’s address to Auckland Mayoral debate at Auckland University on 4 September 2013)


  1. Great – great public meeting, shame it wasn’t full. NZ Herald should learn to count, Minto’s votes were miles ahead of Palino, he would be lucky to have got 30 votes and Minto was only 20 votes short of Len’s vote.

  2. John

    Where are you going to get the money from to fund all these promises, cutting the mayors salary and other associated CEO’s will just be a drop in the ocean compared with the costs of paying a living wage plus building these 20,000 state homes?

    Kind regards


    • Read the policies Stephen – they are all either cost neutral or inthe case of free public transport they will save billions in rates and taxation

      • Tui ad right there.

        The left have a long history of underestimating the cost of their policies. Just look at the free travel on Winston’s gold card.

        Also wondering how you will implement income based rates without accessing IRD information.

    • The present council places heavy fees on real developers to subdivide a property and connect amenities up. Of course Mayor John Minto would waiver these fees cutting costs down immensely. Pretending that the ever increasing population of Auckland should not build new homes is putting our head in the sand. Central government has just made deposit on a mortgage unaffordable so the onus is on local government to help Auckland expand. This is achievable how did Mickey Savage build thousands of State Homes in 1940’s but we can’t recreate that in the 21st century.

  3. Be great to see that address delivered to workplaces, sports and public places, wherever people are at. Letterboxes are of diminishing use as some people rarely empty them clogged with advertising as they are. The neat tory houses do but would bin John’s stuff anyway!

    Some of my Westie mates are voting for John because they realise he is “what it says on the tin”. And younger voters dimly aware of his lifelong activism like the big policies.

  4. “We will pay everyone employed by the council and council contractors the living wage of $18.40 an hour..”

    Do you actually mean they will all earn exactly the same, or do you mean at least $18.40 an hour?

    Kia kaha and good luck, John. Auckland deserves a chance at being run for the majority of Aucklanders.

  5. Yep – you sure know where John Minto stands: he’s been a consistently staunch battler for the wellbeing of people, the environment and social justice for several decades.
    And we all know that Auckland desperately needs a new focus on decent housing, decent wages, fair rates, and a decent public transport system that seriously shifts commuters out of our cars, unclogs the roads and gets people moving. Zero-fares and upgraded services are the way to go.

  6. John, I would like to hear your views on Cycling in the city please.
    Free public transport would be great, but there are a lot of places I could go on my bike if we had safer conditions for cyclists.
    Also, I can take my bike on the train, and on the ferry, but not on a bus. We need buses to be able to accommodate bikes.

  7. The mayor is only one vote John, within a hostile council? Kia Kaha and you are on the right track. If you can win the downtrodden (a growing %)of Kiwis.

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