Campaign Launch

Mike Lee speech at City Vision/Labour Roskill Community Voice Campaign Launch 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow candidates on your behalf I would like to thank Len Brown for coming along today help us launch our election campaigns. Len has been on the campaign trail for over a year now – and its been a lonely fight. He’s been taking fire – but winning through regardless. Len the good news for you is that the reinforcements are here and a whole army of supporters is about to take the field to join the battle.

Right now, right across the greater Auckland region, community based groups and individuals are preparing to go into battle against the monolithic C & R machine and its acolytes.

Clearly the forthcoming Super City elections are going to be the most important in Auckland’s history.

Never have the stakes been higher, never have the opportunities been greater, never has the danger been graver.

Mike speaks at campaign launch - City Vision Chairman Robert Gallagher shares the joke.

The choices for Auckland are clear: – Will we get a conservative, elitist Super City? A monolithic monster created in the image and likeness of John Banks and Auckland C & R?

An organisation dominated by the privileged – imposing its bureaucratic will and its management culture to – restrict democracy, – to stifle diversity and – to overrule the legitimate aspirations of local communities. I do know what I’m talking about – I come from a small community Waiheke Island which has been bullied by C&R Auckland City for years.

I see John Banks has got a brand new slogan on his hoardings – and I think he got it from Sarah Palin. The new billboard slogan is ‘Less wishbone – more backbone.’ Now I will tell you what that really means. ‘Less wishbone’ means they got no vision. ‘More backbone’ means they won’t listen – in other words the same old arrogance.

Or on the other hand – we are determined to attain an Auckland Council which better reflects the progressive, liberal character of this great city/region.

A Council which will have the regional vision, cohesion and critical mass to get on and achieve the major infrastructural projects Auckland so desperately needs – to fulfil its great potential.

Projects like the CBD metro rail loop, projects redeveloping our waterfront, and projects like extending rail from Onehunga to Auckland International Airport.

A progressive Auckland Council that also values the diversity and individuality of its many communities and working in the spirit of partnership is willing to devolve as much real power as possible to those communities – and their local boards.

The choice then is clear – and the outcome very much dependent on the efforts of each and every one of us.

We will not be sitting on the sidelines as spectators, leaving the battling to Len Brown. We are going to be right there at his shoulder. Fighting the good fight – at Ward and Local Board level – right across the region. House by House, street by street, and community by community.

I am very proud to stand here today besides my City Vision, Labour, and Community Voice fellow candidates and indeed with the other centre left tickets and independents standing across this great region.

Together we must convince our fellow citizens that given the great sacrifices in building the Super City – that we will not accept the re-imposition of Auckland City Council culture on the rest of the region We will not accept bureaucratic managerialism and we will no longer tolerate rates and revenue gauging – like the disgraceful episode of the bus lane rip-offs.

In short we will ensure that the Super City is there to serve the people – not the other way round.

Our message therefore is simple – no more local government politics as usual. Along with structure change – there has to be a culture change.

We pledge to restore the ethic of public service,

We will ensure that the Council listens to the public; and we pledge that Auckland’s publicly owned assets will remain in the hands of the public.

Friends our collective vision and our goal is for an Auckland – that in its built environment – in its civic amenities – and its social fabric – aspires to the sublime level of Auckland’s natural environment, Auckland’s natural landscape.

The future of Auckland depends on us. Let us join the battle.

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