Compare Auckland's mayoral candidates

2:08 pm on 15 September 2016

Tomorrow the voting papers go in the post but which box will you tick in Auckland's mayoral election?

Deciding can be a difficult task, not least because the mayoral race has been littered with befuddling news: Mark Thomas admitted he had pulled out of the mayoral race without actually pulling out, Vic Crone advertised herself on a billboard and in doing so broke a bylaw of the council she wants to lead, and Penny Bright continued to refer to herself in the third person as "Her Warship".

So beyond the baffling headlines, who stands for what? RNZ has trawled the publicly available policies of the 19* mayoral candidates and condensed them to bring you easy-to-compare information in one spot. You're welcome.

Watch four of Auckland's mayoral candidates battle it out in an RNZ video debate here

Auckland mayoral candidates, clockwise from left, Vic Crone, Phil Goff, Chloe Swarbrick,John Palino, Mark Thomas and Penny Bright.

Auckland mayoral candidates, clockwise from left, Vic Crone, Phil Goff, Chloe Swarbrick,John Palino, Mark Thomas and Penny Bright. Photo: RNZ / Supplied


Penny Bright

Take back public ownership of Auckland passenger transport.

Won't use road tolls or fuel taxes to pay for transport development.

Tricia Cheel

Tackle transport problems with ecologically sound overview of integrated organic management systems and local community-based solutions.

Vic Crone

Improve public transport by expanding the frequency and capacity of ferry services, providing more frequent and timely feeder services to stations, boosting the number of park and rides and putting better lighting and CCTV surveillance at stations.

Make a smarter transport system by promoting the use of electric cars and intelligent traffic management systems, preparing for driverless buses/shuttles, commissioning a report into what public transport will look like in Auckland in 30 years, and leading an initiative to encourage 50,000 people to work from home at least one day a week.

Bring forward these projects: North-Western Busway; Penlink; AMETI in the east; Lake Road on the North Shore; Mill Road in South Auckland; electrifying rail to Pukekohe.

Fast track a second harbour crossing, including public rapid transport corridor.

At Hop card

Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

Phil Goff

Improve the commuter rail system, park and ride facilities and feeder transport, prioritise electric trains to Pukekohe and investigate having electric trains run to Huapai.

Increase busways and bring forward the plan for light rail.

Complete walkway and cycleways.

Work with government and private companies to increase the use of electric vehicles.

Investigate ways to increase frequency of ferries and integrate them with other public transport.

David Hay

Work towards converting all public transport to run on electricity generated from renewable sources by requiring Auckland Transport to contract only bus service providers who have zero emission vehicles.

Susanna Kruger

Encourage freelancing/working from home and roll out a digital public transport system.

Stan Martin

Reduce congestion, reduce child and student Hop card fares by 50 percent and oppose congestion charging or petrol tax.

Binh Thanh Nguyen

Use waterways for transport.

John Palino

Undertake detailed review of the City Rail Link and its costs, increase park and ride facilities and review spending on cycleways.

Will consider tolls for major new roads and won't back congestion charging.

Chloe Swarbrick

Build rail link to Auckland Airport within 10 years, include rail on second harbour crossing, increase frequency of bus services and number of feeder services and incorporate safe cycling routes into all new road projects.

Mark Thomas

Restore $113m to the long-term transport budget by cutting non-essential spending.

Create six regional transport boards and prioritise spending in growth areas: north, north-west and south.

Consider the case for congestion charging, subject to public agreement.

Mario Alupis, Aileen Austin, Patrick Brown, Alezix Heneti, Adam Holland, Phil O'Connor, Tyrone Raumati, and Wayne Young have not released transport policy.


Auckland houses

Photo: 123RF

Penny Bright

Against the Unitary Plan and opposed to the privatisation of state and council housing.

Make vacant homes available.

Tricia Cheel

Appalled by Unity Plan but would work with it creatively.

Vic Crone

Host an immediate housing summit, release land faster for development, get tough on land banking and speed up consenting, priority roading and water projects.

Create incentives for building more affordable homes, partner with private capital and social enterprise to build affordable housing and align Unitary Plan intensification around key transport modes.

Phil Goff

Support thrust of Unitary Plan, review the consenting process to find ways to speed up resource and building consent and work with central government on costs of infrastructure for new developments.

Develop disincentives for land banking, support affordable housing schemes and play a co-ordinating role in eliminating homelessness.

David Hay

Start a conversation about why the government wants to rapidly grow New Zealand's population.

Susanna Kruger

Establish a micro-business scheme to address homelessness.

Stan Martin

Review plans for housing intensification.

Binh Thanh Nguyen

Ensure abundant supply of land.

John Palino

Remove metropolitan urban limit and instigate more greenfield development, including a satellite city south of Auckland.

Chloe Swarbrick

Digitise and streamline the consenting process and support the growth/zoning in the Unitary Plan.

Mark Thomas

Use financial incentives to encourage land bankers to develop land.

Establish Special Development Areas in Henderson, Onehunga, Manukau, Northcote and Takapuna.

Provide temporary location for homeless people in empty/underused council or government space and ban begging.

Wayne Young

Improve building/construction process and inspections and establish a Council of Works and Housing.

Mario Alupis, Aileen Austin, Patrick Brown, Alezix Heneti, Adam Holland, Phil O'Connor, Tyrone Raumati have not released housing policy.


Mario Alupis is running for Auckland mayor.

Mario Alupis would ask Aucklanders to decide whether there should be rate rises. Photo: Supplied

Mario Alupis

Challenge the amount Auckland councillors are paid and stop management trips on the tax (sic) payer.

Ask Aucklanders to decide whether there should be fuel taxes and rate rises.

Aileen Austin

Have fair rates and reduce debt.

Penny Bright

Oppose to higher rates.

Employ forensic accountants to find where all rates are spent, invested and borrowed.

Patrick Brown of the Communist League has entered the Auckland mayoral race.

Patrick Brown rejects the capitalist drive to make working people pay for the crisis of the system. Photo: Supplied

Patrick Brown

Reject the capitalist drive to make working people pay for the crisis of their system.

Push for a programme of public works to provide jobs for all.

Tricia Cheel

Start a pilot programme of innovative funding streams.

Vic Crone

Cap average rate rises at 2 percent per annum.

Cut council waste spend by $500 million over the remainder of the 10-year budget by instigating a stronger financial transparency regime, opening the council's books, imposing a line-item review programme, making changes to procurement, ending duplications, reducing staff costs by 5 to 10 percent, and cutting back office waste.

Get debt under control by paying down debt faster than planned and keeping debt payments under 12 percent of revenue.

Phil Goff

Keep average rate rises at an average 2.5 percent per annum.

Get the council a share of tax and GST collected from Aucklanders by revenue sharing with central government.

Introduce petrol tax, later to be possibly replaced by a congestion tax, to fund transport infrastructure spending.

Eliminate council waste and inefficiency by taking a more strategic approach to budgeting, invest more in procurement systems, bringing some services supplied by contractors back in house, amongst other initiatives.

Consider selling non-strategic assets but retain Watercare, the Ports of Auckland and shares in Auckland Airport, .

Work with central government to develop Infrastructure Fund, and consider potential of infrastructure bonds and private-public partnerships to fund infrastructure.

David Hay

Invite the Minister of Transport to form a joint committee with Auckland Council to agree on transport infrastructure funding and priorities for Auckland.

Stan Martin

Increase rates rebate for low income households by $500, start $200 water/power rebate for low-income rental households, ensure rates based on inflation and focus on core services.

John Palino

Reduce rates by 10 percent over mayoral term, provide detailed monthly online accounts of council spending and reduce spending on non-core services.

No sale of Auckland Airport shares.

Chloe Swarbrick

Reform rates to base them on land value alone, and work with central government to redistribute more tax money to the Auckland region.

Mark Thomas

Give ratepayers the option of 0, 2 or 4 percent rates growth, tied to specific projects.

Use private investment and partnerships to help fund key projects

Sell some assets (including part of the airport) for new infrastructure.

Wayne Young

Concentrate on core council services.

Alezix Heneti, Adam Holland, Susanna Kruger, Binh Thanh Nguyen, Phil O'Connor, Tyronne Raumati, Mark Young have not released fiscal policies.


Coal in wagons

David Hay would make Auckland a coal-free zone. Photo: 123rf

Aileen Austin

Restore Auckland's environment.

Penny Bright

Achieve a clean, green country through the precautionary principle and the wellness model.

Tricia Cheel

Stop using rates to fund roundup, fluoride, 1080, genetic modification and any other toxic or polluting substances or practices.

Create a blueprint to become New Zealand's first organic city by 2020.

Lower the city's carbon footprint.

Phil Goff

Launch an urban aforestation programme to plant one million trees.

David Hay

Make Auckland a coal-free zone by making the production, burning or transportation of coal through Auckland a prohibited activity.

Develop a managed retreat strategy to deal with sea level rises.

Manage Auckland's environmental assets with asset management plans.

Mark Thomas

Focus council efforts and resources on land use, water quality, air emissions and climate challenges.

Prioritise environmental challenges identified by local boards.

Binh Thanh Nguyen

Harvest tidal and wave power to generate electricity on Auckland's west coast.

Chloe Swarbrick

Adopt green technologies, including all new additions to the council vehicle fleet to be electric or hybrid.

Introduce bike-sharing system that can be used with a Hop card.

No further Ports of Auckland encroachment.

Investigate ways to improve Auckland's waste system.

Mario Alupis, Patrick Brown, Vic Crone, Alezix Heneti, Adam Holland, Susanna Kruger, Stan Martin, Phil O'Connor, John Palino, Tyrone Raumati, and Wayne Young have not released environmental policies.


Aileen Austin

Lead with integrity, honesty, accountability, care and a social conscience.

Penny Bright

Anti-corruption and anti-corporate control.

Auckland 2016 mayoral candidate Tricia Cheel

Tricia Cheel wants an ecologically sound model of governance. Photo:

Tricia Cheel

Ecologically sound model of governance.

Vic Crone

Greater transparency by using an independent budget office, opening council books and making them easily accessible, and introducing mayor's report


David Hay

Change the election system following this election so the mayor is elected with a Single Transferable Vote system.

Place the core council organisation under the same governance arrangements used for council controlled organisations. A board of directors will then support and supervise the CEO and councillors will focus on representing Aucklanders.

A smaller governing body, fewer local boards, a prescribed delegation structure, and the creation different types of board - larger boards and smaller boards - with local board boundaries based on police station areas.

Achieve oversight of whole-of-council policy programme by publishing quarterly reports, establishing a business committee to review policy project plans and operate a business committee's secretariat.

Make data available to citizens, including research, budget information and contract information.

Adam Holland

Honestly, will not do a single thing as mayor.

Susanna Kruger

Expose Unitary Plan fraud within the Auckland Plan.

Stan Martin

Give governing body power of veto over council controlled organisations and other council organisations.

John Palino

Introduce a Ratepayers Bill of Rights to limit rate rises and introduce a Citizens Decision Review Panel to appeal council decisions.

Mark Thomas

Re-write Auckland Plan to include local boards' top priorities and take out anything that duplicates central government work.

Start formal online poll on key issues in Annual Plan and introduce binding citizen-initiated referenda.

Mario Alupis, Patrick Brown, Phil Goff, Alezix Heneti, Adam Holland, Susanna Kruger, Binh Thanh Nguyen, Phil O'Connor, Tyrone Raumati, Chloe Swarbrick and Wayne Young have not released governance policies.


Penny Bright

End CCOs and cut consultants and private contractors.

Vic Crone

Open and transparent CCOs should work toward aligned goals, without duplicating activities or resources.

Phil Goff

CCOs should take part in collaborative procurement to help economies of scale and use shared services for back office support.

Investigate adopting user pays.

Mark Thomas

Merge part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) into the Regional Facilities business and establish a new economic development agency.

Wayne Young

Disestablish all CCOs.

Mario Alupis, Aileen Austin, Patrick Brown, Tricia Steel, Alezix Heneti, Adam Holland, Susanna Kruger, Stan Martin, Binh Thanh Nguyen, Phil O'Connor, John Palino, Tyrone Raumati, and Chloe Swarbrick have not released policy on CCOs.


Ports of Auckland

Ports of Auckland Photo: RNZ

Penny Bright

Opposes user charges for water services.

Patrick Brown

Opposes attacks on women's rights to abortion and the scapegoating of immigrants.

Vic Crone

Commission a report into how best to move the Ports of Auckland, within a 20 to 30 year time frame, and consider the options for how the land can then be used.

Phil Goff

Stop the Ports of Auckland claiming any more of the harbour, and look to move the port and restore public access to the waterfront.

David Hay

Upgrade Auckland's inner-city parks.

Remove pokies from places where families go, take legal action where pokies are operating illegally, allow local boards to decide to reduce the number of pokies as low as zero or, alternatively, buy and shut down pokie venues.

Stan Martin

No sale of council-owned assets.

Support tangata whenua and ethnic communities.

Binh Thanh Nguyen

Manage immigration numbers to Auckland by coordinating with central government.

Phil O'Connor

Opposes abortion.

John Palino

Consider selling Ports of Auckland business but retain land ownership.

Māori to prove cultural significance of sites and a review of Māori consultation policies.

Wayne Young

Restore original council coat of arms for governing body.

Mario Alupis, Aileen Austin, Tricia Cheel, Tyrone Raumati, Chloe Swarbrick, Mark Thomas, Alezix Heneti, Adam Holland, Susanna Kruger have not released any other policies.

*To put together this guide, we pored over the publicly available policy of these candidates: Mario Alupis (independent), Aileen Austin (independent), Penny Bright (independent), Patrick Brown (Communist League), Tricia Cheel (Stop), Vic Crone (independent), Phil Goff (independent), David Hay (independent), Alezix Heneti (independent), Adam Holland (Auckland Legalise Cannabis), Susanna Kruger (independent), Stan Martin (independent), Stan Martin (independent), Binh Thanh Nguyen (independent), Phil O'Connor (Christians Against Abortion), John Palino (independent). Tyrone Raumati (Greater Auckland), Chloe Swarbrick (independent), Mark Thomas (independent), Wayne Young (independent).

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