Party
Mana Movement
Prior elections
Auckland Mayor
Video
John Minto on Housing
John Minto on Transport
Conflicts of Interest
Nil disclosed
Age
60
Marital Status
Married
Children
Two adult boys
Links

http://mintoformayor.org.nz/

I live in the area I am seeking to represent

I live in Morningside, Auckland and I have two adult boys. I've been in the city for 36 years and most of that time I've been a physics and science teacher in Auckland Secondary Schools. I've worked in a leadership role in a range of community organisations. I was a leader of the anti-apartheid movement to isolate South Africa and release Nelson Mandela from prison. I've been National Chair of the Quality Public Education Coalition and a spokesperson for Global Peace and Justice Auckland. I'm standing as the Mana Movement candidate for Auckland Mayor for four main reasons: I'm tired of wasting time and money in Auckland's awful traffic; I want Aucklanders to earn enough to keep their families safe and healthy; I want every family to have a decent home and finally I want all Aucklanders to share the burden of rates and council charges more fairly.

Top 5 Issues

  1. Free and frequent public transport – the Mana team will end traffic gridlock within 12 months with free public transport. Comfortable, modern, low-emission trains and buses, with free wifi, will provide free and frequent travel around the city. It’s less than half the cost of building more roads as planned by current Mayor Len Brown and the National government.
  2. A decent affordable home for every family – the Mana team will build 20,000 affordable council rental homes. Every family needs a decent affordable home.
  3. The living wage for Aucklanders – the Mana team will pay all Auckland Council employees and contracted workers a minimum $18.40 an hour. We will pay for this with big cuts to salaries of senior management staff at the council. An unbelievable 123 senior council managers now earn over $200, 000. I would peg the Mayor’s salary to a maximum of four times the living wage (a cut from $240,000 to $153,088) and the CEO salary to a maximum five times the living wage (a cut from $768,759 to $191,360)
    Under Mana leadership the council will lead the way for other employers to follow.
  4. Robin Hood Rates – the Mana team will reduce rates and council charges for low-income families who pay a much higher proportion of their income on rates and council charges than other Aucklanders.
  5. More details of policy can be found at www.mintoformayor.org.nz

Personal Profile

I live in Morningside, Auckland and I have two adult boys. I’ve been in the city for 36 years and most of that time I’ve been a physics and science teacher in Auckland secondary schools. I’ve worked in a leadership role in a wide range of community organizations. I was a leader in the anti-apartheid movement to isolate South Africa and release Nelson Mandela from prison. I’ve been National Chairperson of the Quality Public Education Coalition and a spokesperson for Global Peace and Justice Auckland.

I am standing as the Mana Movement candidate for Auckland Mayor for four main reasons: I’m tired of wasting time and money in Auckland’s awful traffic; I want every family to have a decent home; I want Aucklanders to earn enough to keep their families safe and healthy and finally I want all Aucklanders to share the burden of rates and council charges more fairly

Authorised by John Minto of 4 Ethel St, Morningside, Auckland

Questions answered by John Minto

Question

John Minto's Reply

Are our CCO's just duplicating effort?

Yes I think it is a good idea to have a single service centre. More broadly we need to change the City structure to provide democratic control of Auckland City by the citizens. At the moment approximately 75% of the income from rates and council charges goes to CCOs which citizens do not control. This is unacceptable.


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What changes would you make for our city?

There are four main changes I would make to the city.

1. Free and frequent public transport – the Mana team will end traffic gridlock within 12 months with free public transport. Comfortable, modern, low-emission trains and buses, with free wifi, will provide free and frequent travel around the city. It’s less than half the cost of building more roads as planned by current Mayor Len Brown and the National government.

2. A decent affordable home for every family – the Mana team will build 20,000 affordable council rental homes. Every family needs a decent affordable home.

3. The living wage for Aucklanders – the Mana team will pay all Auckland Council employees and contracted workers a minimum $18.40 an hour.

We will pay for this with big cuts to salaries of senior management staff at the council. An unbelievable 123 senior council managers now earn over $200, 000. I would peg the Mayor’s salary to a maximum of four times the living wage (a cut from $240,000 to $153,088) and the CEO salary to a maximum five times the living wage (a cut from $768,759 to $191,360)

Under Mana leadership the council will lead the way for other employers to follow.

4. Robin Hood Rates – the Mana team will reduce rates and council charges for low-income families who pay a much higher proportion of their income on rates and council charges than other Aucklanders.   


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What is your public transport policy?
No the photo doesn't do me justice - I'm easily the most handsome candidate!

Our policy is for free and frequent public transport - no cash, no cards - just jump on a bus or train and go as far as you need to. This would be paid for from the billions of dollars to be spent on more roads which we won't need. It would cost half as much and unlike the new roads, which only get you to the traffic jam more quickly, this policy will gridlock free Auckland roads within 12 months. 

In summary the benefits of the policy are:

1.      EVERY Aucklander will get an extra hour at home EVERY work day. Even those who never use a bus or train will be able to travel a gridlock-free roading network.

2.      It’s cheaper than tarseal addiction – saving hundreds of millions every year.

3.      No extra charges for anyone - no rates increases, no extra fuel taxes, no congestion charges, no network charges, no toll roads, no PPPs. Those are Len Brown’s policies – not Mana’s.

4.      Improved productivity – a government-commissioned report released in March this year estimated lost productivity at $1.25 billion every year from clogged Auckland roads. This policy will release that lost productivity and enable better pay for workers. Note here that Business New Zealand tells us we need higher productivity to get higher wage increases. Here’s a golden opportunity to pass on these big productivity increases to workers in wages.

5.      Faster bus travel on unclogged roads and no time wasted collecting fares.

6.      Revitalisation of Auckland’s inner city as more people travel to enjoy Queen Street and the Auckland waterfront – some kids for the first time in their lives.

7.      Cleaner and greener – this will be the single greenest policy in the history of New Zealand! - less pollution, smaller carbon footprint – big ups to the environment.

8.      Savings for workers – the Mayor of Tallinn calls it the “13th monthly salary” because of estimates the policy saves a month’s pay for workers using the free transport service.

9.      Economic stimulation as workers have significantly more to spend in the real economy.

10.  Tourism boost as tourists use the system to see all parts of Auckland as we sell the city as an eco-friendly city – released from the grip of dull ideas from the middle of last century.




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Where and how should we extend rail?
The inner city rail loop; rail to the airport; rail to Mt Roskill (from Western line at Mt Albert) and rail to the North Shore

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Do we need more rigour around proposals?
Living wage and capped wage
Should rates be capped?
I prefer the second option. The biggest problem we have at the moment is that families on fixed or low incomes are paying a much higher proportion of their income on rates and council charges than others. This is fundamentally unfair. To make matters worse business rates are decreasing while residential rates increase.
However even if we take just the first option rates can be decreased through innovations such as fare-free public transport which would end traffic gridlock within 12 months at less than half the cost of building new roads - thus saving ratepayers and taxpayers the enormous cost of roads we won't need.

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Auditor General should the powers extend to key local government contractors?
Yes - when there is cause but there should be random audits also. Overseas research shows with the contracting model for services which Auckland Council uses the costs can often be twice as much as if the services were provided in house. There is so much more scope for corruption - and the Aucjkland Transport investigation into possible corruption is a case in point and likely to be the thin end of a fat wedge.
Over time I'd like to abandon the contractor model and bring most services back in house as the Tasman District Council is now doing to save money and improve servcies.

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Consulting ethnic groups - have we got the right structure?
I'm not sure what a "second chamber refers to but consultaton forums are an excellent idea. In the case of Maori I support the original royal commission recommendations that two Auckland councillors be elected from the Maori electoral role in Auckland and that a further councillor be appointed by a Mana Whenua forum. The current arrangements of the Maori board are token and open to attack and ridicule.

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Transparency & obligations for those elected
Should we wave the container terminal goodbye?
The short answer is yes but it would take several things to happen first the most important of which is the development of a national ports strategy so New Zealand ports are not competing with eachother and being played off against eachother by the big shipping companies. This would involve decisions re the ports of Whangarei, Tauranga and Auckland in particular and a possible inland port for Auckland where containers are railed out immediately from the city harbour as happens in many ports overseas.

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Is Waitakere becoming the forgotten 'suberb' in a "super city"?
Kia ora Raz,

I'm not sure what your question relates to specifically. However I'll make a few comments that might be helpful.
Transport is always more expensive and difficult for people from outlying suburbs which is why free and frequent public transport would be so good for Titirangi. And remember this is a savings policy because we would freeze the building of new roads (which we won't need with this policy) and save hundreds of millions for ratepayers and taxpayers every year.
I'm in favour of licensing trusts like Portage over market-driven models but strongly oppose pokie machines in any licensed premises.
Not sure what the rubbish issue for Titirangi might be???

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Coast to Coast walk & 50km Cycle track how can we improve them?
Kia ora Anthony,

Good question. I've never done the coast to coast walk but I cycle for recreation - mainly using the cycleway alongside the North-Western Motorway. It's obvious the city has made only a token effort for transport aside from cars, cars and more cars. This is unsustainable which is why free and frequent public transport is so important. As well as the social and environmental benefits this will save ratepayers and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
I'm very keen to see cycleways become an integral and important part of city travel and the money released from free and frequent public transport can be used to help upgrade cycleways across the city. I should say here that I strongly support the cycleway over the harbour bridge but NOT as a public private partnership. Cyclists have paid just as much for the building and maintenance of the harbour bridge as have car drivers so why would car drivers get a free ride while cyclists have to pay?

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As mayor would you have offered financial assistance to Team NZ?
No - I'm not an advocate of significant spending for billionaire yacht racing events when we have so many urgent priorities in the city such as unaffordable housing, unliveable wages, heavy traffic congestion and high rates.

No I don't think we should pay outright for events but the city can facilitate lots of great events - a buskers festival (like the Christchurch Buskers Festival which attracts artists from all over the world), music in the parks with kiwi musicians and bands etc etc. One thing which would make such central city events and festivals much greater occassions would be free public transport because many families never come into the city because they can't afford it...

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What changes, if any are required to the Heritage Advisory Panel?
I'm not familiar enough with the work of the Heritage Advisory Panel. However the evidence is that heritage advocates have been unsuccessful in having their views prevail because so much heritage has been destoyed and continues to be destroyed in the city. This predates the super city but seems tro continue under the new regime. There are plenty of cowboy developers which treat the city as their toy to play with. They need to be reined in.

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Super City saw accessibility go backwards - how will you improve this?
Does the Sky Path have your support?
Should the grass always be greener or at least longer in Auckland?
I support the council mowing the berms. The abandonment of the council mowing the berms was done without consultation with Aucklanders and without any consideration for blocks of flatts or homes which don't have a mower.

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Should we follow other large cities and allowing small-dogs on public transport?
Multi-cultural Auckland - what roles do we each have to play?

Auckland Mayor

Results - Progress

Len Brown
164338
John Palino
108928
Stephen Berry
13650
Penny Bright
11723
John Minto
11591
Wayne Young
3943
Paul Duffy
3083
Phil O'Conner
3032
Emmett Hussey
2974
David Willmott
1647
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