5 Sep 2013

Sell assets to help poor says mayoral candidate

9:29 am on 5 September 2013

A candidate for the Auckland mayoralty says asset sales may be needed to help fund investment in the city's most deprived communities.

Reverend Uesifili Unasa raised the issue in a debate on Wednesday night, criticising what he considered to be inadequate funding of a major council initiative.

Mr Unasa said more funding is needed for the council's Southern Initiative, a plan to redirect largely existing Government funding, to transform the city's poorest communities.

When asked how the city could find new ways to fund its growth, Mr Unasa suggested one option was selling assets held by the council. He also said too much council money was spent in central Auckland.

These include the port company and part-ownership of the airport.

Mr Unasa did not say which part of the $1.5 billion portfolio could be sold.

Mayor Len Brown has ruled out the sale of council assets.