1 Jul 2013

Pasifika candidate to bid for Auckland mayoralty

8:11 am on 1 July 2013

A leading Pacific advisor to Auckland's mayor has announced he will run against Len Brown at this year's council elections.

Uesifili Unasa, who chairs the Auckland Council's Pacific advisory panel, says Mr Brown has failed to deliver on promises to the Pacific communities who voted in large numbers for him three years ago.

Mr Unasa says their views have been ignored in the 30-year plan, and a proposal to boost housing, jobs and education in south Auckland has done nothing.

He says the mayor has also backed policies that hurt Pacific people such as moving state housing tenants out as part of the Tamaki redevelopment.

Mr Unasa expects the move will surprise Pacific communities but is unapologetic about targeting Mr Brown's loyal support.

"We are certainly serious about challenging the allegiance and the loyalty of Pacific communities who are at the bottom end of socio and economic deprivation to support Pacific candidates, a Pacific mayoral candidate, that understands them best."

Mr Unasa says Pacific people need to get elected to council instead of relying on dead-end advisory panels.