It's not clear at this stage whether he is standing for Mayor or as a Councillor.
Ngapuhi leader to stand for Auckland Council
Ngapuhi leader David Rankin has announced his intention to stand for the Auckland Council in next year's local body elections.
"This Council is broken - it lacks imagination and integrity, and is driven by Len Brown's vanity projects, which will drive Auckland bankrupt," he said in a statement released tonight.
Mr Rankin said he would be basing his election campaign on a "simple five-point plan".
"The five policies are: put an immediate end to the inner-city rail loop, and invest the funds instead on roading.; extend the urban limits of the city to allow the supply of more land for housing. The aim will be for a radical drop in land prices due to a huge supply of residential-zoned land; disband the current Maori statutory board and replace it with a five-member advisory board with a total budget of $150,000... Restore the access to all the volcanic peaks as it existed in 2011 and halt all future cycle lanes, and remove existing ones where they obstruct traffic.
"A bicycle registration system will be introduced so that future cycle lanes will be built when the fund accumulated from cyclist registrations allows for it."
Mr Rankin said Aucklanders were "sick of the Council being dominated by marginal interest groups".
"It's a form of corruption and it has to stop. What Aucklanders are demanding is a return to basics by its Council and that's what I plan to deliver."
Rankin admitted that some of his policies were controversial.
But, he said "tough times call for tough measures."
1. Canning the CRL project would certainly stop the city haemorrhaging money and getting into more long-term debt. It would also the save the city from facing bankruptcy from having to subsidise unaffordable operating expenses. But it will also come at the price of exiting contracts that have already been signed.
2. Increasing land supply is essential to driving down Auckland’s rocketing house prices and meeting the demand for new homes.
3. The planned $80 million budget for the Maori Statutory Board, an unelected race based group who have been giving voting rights on all Council committees, is obscene. The Board is an affront to democracy. Rankin is well placed to reverse the culture of tribal corporate welfare that pervades the current Council.
4. The restoration of access rights to the volcanic peaks of Auckland will be a popular move.
5. The removal of cycle lanes that have been deliberately engineered to slow down traffic and force commuters onto public transport will be welcomed as a step in the right direction to help get traffic moving again. So is 'user pays' for cyclists whose demands for special treatment is costing the Council hundreds of millions of dollars. Rankin would have his work cut out fighting the cycle and public transport lobby entrenched in Auckland Transport’s planning departments.
Taken altogether Rankin’s simple plan will resonate well with voters who are desperate to escape rising debt and 10% per annum rates rises promised by Len Brown and his Terrible Ten Councillors.
So far so good, but I would like to see what more detail of how his laudable goals are to be achieved. I also wonder if he has sufficient political backing to make him the dream candidate to counter the culture of waste that has become so entrenched in Council bureaucracy.