Two-term Labour MP, former talkback host, and social agency leader John Tamihere has launched his bid for the Auckland mayoralty.
Tamihere has teamed up with former National MP and Auckland City Mayor, and current councillor, Christine Fletcher, in an unusual move to campaign with a ready-made deputy-mayor.
The pair launched their campaign, and its slogan “Shake it up and sort it out”, in Henderson in West Auckland on Saturday morning.
That’s a smart team up. Tamihere is popular in West and South Auckland. Fletcher in the eastern suburbs. Goff will dominate central Auckland, so Goff will need to do well in the northern suburbs to hold on.
Tamihere pledged to “open the books and clean the house”, and said it’s not clear how ratepayers money is being spent.
He promised to reduce the power of “faceless” centre city bureaucrats, and return more decision-making to communities.
Tamihere has called for more democratic control over public assets and wants to appoint councillors to the boards of all council-controlled-organisations such as Auckland Transport. That would require a law change.
His pledges included a “crackdown on waste and incompetence” with the establishment of an Integrity Unit that could investigate public complaints.
Tamihere has called for a “proper partnership” with central government, especially in housing and transport, and questioned the need for a regional fuel tax.
They all sound good, but not specific enough. Voters should demand an explicit commitment on maximum rates increases.
Fletcher took other swipes at current Mayor Phil Goff during the campaign launch.
“The ribbons Goff has been cutting are all the work of other people,” she told assembled media.
“I voted for Goff (in 2016) – but today council is divided, there’s paralysis on key strategic issues and the bureaucrats are running the ship. There’s a failure of leadership,” said Fletcher.
Goff appears to have alienated Crs on both the right and the left. This is not a good idea.