Minto for Mayor – for a future which makes sense


Keep Our Assets Canterbury has endorsed me to stand for the Christchurch mayoralty in the coming local body election.

I got 15% of the vote last time which was pleasing after being in the city for just 18 months. For this coming campaign we are focusing on the three big issues facing Christchurch:

We have decided to stand John because Christchurch faces unprecedented challenges:

  • Global warming from greenhouse gas emissions has created a climate catastrophe which threatens us all.
  • Our precious drinking water is tainted with contaminants and threatened by nitrates.
  • Deep divisions across the city mean many people struggle on poverty incomes without dignity or self-respect. Housing conditions and social impacts for many are as bad as the 1930s depression.

Our current path does not make sense – it’s not working for us.

The current mayor and councillors should be on the back foot after some awful behaviour. Here are a few examples:

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    • The council has declared a climate emergency but is continuing business as usual
    • The mayor and councilors decided to pay the new CEO $100,000 more than the starting salary of the previous CEO and when the public objected the mayor ordering councilors to not speak publicly about the issue! It was not only an attack on ratepayer wallets but an attack on democracy itself
    • Meanwhile the council is refusing to pay the living wage to people employed by Council controlled companies or contracted staff doing council work. Inexcusable.
    • Many council tenants are living in slum conditions in cold damp homes while the mayor and council priorities are to build a multi-purpose rugby stadium. Under Minto for Mayor there will be no new rugby stadium till every child in Christchurch has a warm, dry home to live in.
    • The council has refused to allow Christchurch residents to have a say in how the $300 million grant promised by the government at the last election will be spent despite the government saying it was for the people of Christchurch to decide. The council instead has lined up with corporate interests and $220 million of the grant is to be spent on a new stadium!
    • Christchurch residents face massive rate increases well beyond inflation – last year around three times the rate of inflation.
    • We have a water crisis in the making but no leadership for change.

Here is the set of progressive policies to meet the big three problems the city faces:

  1. Dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions with free and frequent public transport – the single most important way for Christchurch to address our climate crisis. A person switching from a car to a full bus reduces their greenhouse gas emissions by 15 times what it would be in their car. For low income earners it is the equivalent of four weeks extra pay each year. It will save money and be paid for from the current roading budget.
  2. Future-proof our water supply and clean up our waterways – plan, lobby and work for swimmable rivers in Christchurch and across Canterbury. One part of this is promoting local neighbourhood responsibility for sections of our city rivers.
  3. Affordable housing – use $220 million from the government’s $300 million grant to rebuild the 400 council rental houses destroyed in the earthquakes and refurbish the “slum” housing currently owned by council. We will also begin to build a further 600 additional homes to meet the needs of our local community. This will mean putting the multi-purpose rugby stadium to the back of the queue for capital spending.
  4. Higher wages – pay the living wage for all council work. We will pay a minimum of the living wage ($21.15 per hour from 1 September) to council employees and those employed under contract to do council work. At the same time, we will set the maximum council salary $176,000 – four times the living wage. This policy will save money over time as we manage down senior management salaries at the council. The council will lead the way for other employers to follow.
  5. Keep rate increases to the rate of inflation – and rebalance rates across the city to make rate payments fairer.
  6. Reject proposals for the sale of our city assets and look for opportunities to bring strategic assets back under community ownership and control. This will save money and help reduce future rate increases.
  7. Create a local zone in the city centre to showcase products and services created here in Canterbury – to be paid for initially from higher rates on undeveloped land in the city centre. This is the way of a climate-changed future – local production for local consumption.



  1. Minto for Mayor!

    Great policies–give ’em heaps John. “e’m” being the the usual vested interests that think they alone should run Christchurch. A 38.3% Christchurch voter turnout last time, 2016, was pathetic, as was the Supercity at 38%. The death of post, voter alienation and transience can all contribute–maybe community organising can make a good dent in Lianne Dalziel’s majority, or hopefully be disruptive enough to beat her if the vote is split among other candidates.

  2. Business Nz may not back you john but any ordinary citizen would be stupid not to go for your community good agenda.
    Clear thinking is not a prerogative of right wing for profit corporate.
    No public / private projects in your agenda which is common sense.
    Good stuff John.

  3. I voted for Mr Minto at the last local-body-election. Will I vote for him again ?? .. I’m not sure but I WILL NOT be voting for Lianne Dalziel.

    As a renter I have NO sympathy for rate payers. Either they’ve paid too much for their properties OR rate payers have consistently voted poorly in the past.

    Asset Sales: Keep the assets I say.

    Create a Local Zone: I like.

    Higher wages: I like, but I think it’s a poor title for a policy point. Sounds more like a parliamentary issue.

    Water/River Supply: Every candidate mentions the water.

    Affordable housing: As a potential house buyer, I like.

    Reduce Greenhouse Gas: I have places to be, I’m not catching the bus .. even if it’s free. CO2 is not a worst greenhouse gas either. Really not into this policy/thinking myself.

    After reading Mr Minto’s policy points, I find some interesting ideas/policies, especially the idea of a ‘Local Zone’ AND improving our water quality.

    However, Mr Minto is running to run a municipality (Christchurch). Roading is an issue, Underground Infrastructure, Car Parking, City Maintenance, Water-leaks, Graffiti, Dilapidated Structures, Wasteful Spending, Unwanted Events, Roadworks, General City Ugliness, Littering, Meth/Heroine Use, etc, etc.

    I’m fine with building more council flats, creating a ‘Local Zone’ .. heck, even some free buses !! .. but 95% of your focus has to be on core municipality services. You haven’t got my vote quite yet.

  4. John as an ex Aucklander i have lived in CHCH for three years and after huge difficulty getting insurance i have bought a house in New Brighton and i love it here and i am finally finding my way around this complex but amazing city.
    As a ratepayer i am not at all happy with how the council operates here.
    After the last 8 years of seismic disasters the pace of progress seems painfully slow and depending on where you live like in Fendalton or Merrivale or Cashmere these areas seem to be well looked after and don’t seem to have the problems that other areas do.
    The roads out east are in an appalling state and there is no attempt by the council to remedy it.
    I know these suburbs were hit hard but shouldn’t they have got priority first ?
    The flooding is a serious problem and general untidiness , graffiti plague this beautiful place.
    There just isn’t any pride or respect for public areas and amenities , many are in disrepair in and around the town center.
    How many major cities in the world would see the potential of an area like New Brighton and ignore it and leave it too rot like what has happened here !
    The Japanese had a major quake and a tsunami but managed to repair and rebuild Tōhoku reasonably quickly after 2011 yet CHCH is still suffering as a result of February 22nd where the infrastructure is concerned and the plight of many people you mentioned is an indictment on the way this country is governed and the local council.
    My wife worked for the council and could not believe how dysfunctional it is and the waste of ratepayers money was a shock.
    Well done for standing John and you have my vote and support.
    If Christchurch people could open their eyes and realize that it could be so much better you would win in a landslide.

    All the best

  5. Do we want council officers that will be forever changing as a better pay deal comes along . $180K per year is not great as a wage at the management level . Ecan is in charge of the buses so how can he make them free. Water is ECAN domain so how can be improve that.The closing will be out soon but will go back if Labour get back in power and take charge of all water distribution.Affordable housing is not something council should be getting into in competition with private suppliers . The rental market is also an area they should stay clear of and leave social housing to the Government as there is no pool thin duplication.

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