While he may be late to the race Gary Brown is confident he’s the guy to get the job done, after countless requests to consider running for the Auckland mayoralty this October.
Well known on the Hibiscus Coast and currently serving as the Chair of the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board, Brown has been firmly immersed in the community for many years as a businessman, volunteer, through events and fundraising activities and has personally raised tens of thousands of dollars for charities both locally and nationally.
Brown says he had been urged to run to offer genuine leadership, helping Auckland rediscover its identity and realize its potential.
“My vision is to bring Auckland back to life and ensure our city is one where everyone feels safe, supported and can have a voice when it comes to creating a better future. ” Brown said.
“We have an economy to rebuild. We have disenfranchised communities to bring together. But in understanding Auckland – every pocket, every community, every issue – I know we can forge a world class city with united communities and empowered people.”
Brown says his candidacy is built on pillars of common sense and ‘back to basics’ strategies, mindful economics, providing value for money, solid decision-making and social unity, bringing communities together to celebrate our interests and diversity. He believes we need to get the foundations right first, and to do this, he’s launching a new initiative called ‘Your Auckland’.
“It’s time to make Auckland better and for me to do that, listening is the key first step. I want to know what Your Auckland looks like, or what YOU would like it to become. What do you admire about Your Auckland? What are the challenges ahead for Your Auckland? What is the future of Your Auckland?”
“My intention is to unite communities and be an open, trusted leader that goes into bat for all Aucklanders, regardless of demographics or geographical location. As one of the world’s great multicultural cities, I believe Auckland is built on inclusivity.”
“My mission is to get out into our communities – something I’ve specifically done here on the Hibiscus Coast – learn from our people and rather than assume what needs to be done, find out the real issues affecting the quality of life for our people, while looking strategically at the bigger vision for our city.”
Brown, an active North Harbour referee for more than 30 years is currently President of the North Harbour Referees Association, is a former New Zealand Surf Life Saving Beach Flag champion and is married to Tracey with five children, including two at school.
An in-demand entertainer – and the world’s only authorised Austin Powers impersonator from Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema, Brown believes he has the perfect blend of professional skills and community track record to lead Council, unite people and bring back Auckland’s ‘mojo’.
“Having been a business owner for more than thirty years, I understand the challenges this entails and even more so, the challenges that our businesses have been facing over the last two years of the pandemic. Through unity, good leadership, an understanding of strong business acumen and my understanding of council processes, I know I have all the skills required to step up and represent all Aucklanders.”
He doesn’t label himself as left or right, declaring he is “all for commonsense”, and says he is not a politician, but, rather, an advocate for communities.
“As a city we need to make commonsense decisions and focus on being pro-business, procommunities and pro-collaboration as we face today’s issues, while forging an Auckland that future generations will appreciate and thank us for. It’s not just about what we do for our people right now, it’s about creating a better future for our children and our children’s children.”
Helping the environment is also an issue for Brown. It starts by ensuring his campaign is totally digital or direct face-to-face contact, with limited hoardings and if elected, he will embrace sustainability and lead a charge for an increase in renewable energy and better transport solutions.
“I’m also big on improving and maintaining public assets so our people can enjoy the beauty of our wonderful city. And for me, transparency is important. Most Aucklanders have little understanding of what happens ‘behind the scenes’ so my goal is to ensure that two-way communication is increased, ensuring Aucklanders have a voice and are also instrumental in shaping their future.”
While Brown has only just launched his campaign, this decision has been up for consideration for at least a year, due to numerous personal requests to run for the role and he is confident financial backers will emerge now that he is officially in the race. Starting from scratch, he is committed to making an impact while being financially prudent.
“Just like Auckland, we have to live within our means and be smarter about how we promote ourselves and achieve results. I’m up for the challenge and dedicated to serving the city I love. If you don’t advocate for your community, who will? This is my Auckland. This is Your Auckland. I’m Gary Brown. I’m listening and I’m ready to take action.”