These are important times for our city. The stakes are high.
As a young migrant from Samoa, growing up in Kelston, ministered in Mangere, living in Parnell and working at the University of Auckland, I have met thousands of Aucklanders from all walks of life. I have lived among the poorest and wealthiest, worked alongside the influential in our city, and befriended those most at risk, been welcomed to mosques, marae, synagogues, homes, churches, hospitals and high streets; witnessed remarkable work being done by not-for-profit and voluntary organisations in every part of our city; and deliberated over public resources worth billions of dollars. These experiences have made me determined to make a difference to the lives of all who live here.
So, why vote for me?
Auckland is a fantastic city with a serious problem. Southern Auckland is a high deprivation area in education, jobs and health.
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Over the next 10 years, council will spend billions of dollars on infrastructure while the Southern Initiative will get only $1.8 million. As mayor, I will elevate the southern initiative to "Mayoral Key Priority".
Auckland city has over 150 ethnic communities. Yet the mayor's office, council executives and Council Controlled Organisation boards still reflect the old, not new Auckland. As mayor, I will chair a diversity review of the council organisation.
As mayor, protecting our open, green spaces is my commitment to healthy communities. In a city like Auckland public places are social safety valves, mixing the people of this city in common enjoyment. I will listen and work with local boards and communities because they know what is best for their local area.
The new Auckland deserves a new mayor with new ideas - a mayor with a vision for people, a builder of strong communities and one who personifies the spirit of inclusiveness.