ZB

Wayne Brown enters Auckland mayoralty race: 'Stop wasting money on dopey projects'

Author
Bernard Orsman, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 29 Mar 2022, 10:44am
Wayne Brown was mayor of the Far North District from 2007 to 2013. (Photo / File)
Wayne Brown was mayor of the Far North District from 2007 to 2013. (Photo / File)

Wayne Brown enters Auckland mayoralty race: 'Stop wasting money on dopey projects'

Author
Bernard Orsman, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 29 Mar 2022, 10:44am

Businessman and former Far North Mayor Wayne Brown is the latest candidate to join the race for the Auckland mayoralty. 

He joins restaurateur Leo Molloy, Heart of the City chief executive Viv Beck and Craig Lord in an increasingly crowded field on the right to replace Phil Goff, who is standing down after two terms. 

Manukau councillor Efeso Collins is the sole candidate on the left and has the endorsement of the Labour and Green parties. 

At his campaign launch this morning at the Rosebank Business Association, Brown said the council he leads would stop wasting money on dopey projects and get the basics right. 

Brown is running on his more than 40 years' experience running small, medium- and large Auckland businesses. 

He spoke of leading the Auckland District Health Board that built the new hospital on-time and below budget, being brought in to fix the city's electricity mess after the 1998 power crisis, and putting the council's book into surplus as mayor of the Far North. 

He is also the person who proposed shifting the Ports of Auckland as head of a taskforce set up by the Labour-led Government in 2017. 

Brown said he has been trusted by shareholders, workers, governments and voters to fix big troubled, complex organisations and force better performance, saying "Auckland Council fits the bill". 

He has promised to bring council costs under control, spending money wisely on the infrastructure that really matters, and prioritise basic services over optional extras. 

Brown said his mayoralty would be bad news for council bureaucrats wanting to start another big project before finishing existing ones. 

Brown was mayor of the Far North from 2007 to 2013 where his mayoralty included "bringing bureaucracy to heel, user charges and minimal rates rises" - similar to what he is proposing for Auckland. 

The Auditor-General also criticised him for blurring the lines between his elected role and his commercial interests - a charge he has always denied.