Auckland mayoralty: Four lesser-known candidates' present their ideas

With voting kicking off for the Auckland mayoralty this week, Newshub invited candidates* to an event - four turned up.

Before a dramatic egg and spoon race we asked the contestants to introduce themselves and present their position on a few of Auckland's most interesting issues.


John Hong.
John Hong. Photo credit: Newshub.

John Hong


Why are you running for mayor?

The reason I want to run is that I've got extensive management experience in governance, in business, the education sector in the past so I have the ability, vision, global perspective and team to run the city.

What is your greatest weakness?

My greatest weakness is that this is the first time for me to run for the mayoralty in such a short time. A lot of local people might not realise what I have done, the contributions I have made to this great city.

How would you solve Auckland's congestion issues?

With the new Council and governing body, I'm going to open up not just one road. Currently the whole city is only one, which is very dangerous it gets congested, or if some accident happens. To the south, I'm going to open up Great South Road, upgrade Great South Road. To the north, build a new bridge from Devonport to the city, so they get double-tracked. And open up all the east coast roads so they open up the Rodney, Albany.

How will you help people get into homes?

The housing shortage is a challenging issue, in Auckland especially. But for me it's quite easy to solve this issue. For example bring in new technology, prefab material, prefab houses with new factories in Auckland tailor-made for the economical, affordable houses. Open up a new bridge from the airport to Karaka, Pukekohe area. [Then] loads of cheap, affordable land would be available for the houses, bring down the cost.

Tom Sainsbury.
Tom Sainsbury. Photo credit: Newshub.

Tom Sainsbury (Fiona's campaign manager)


Why are you running for mayor?

Fiona just finished dry July and it was August 1 and the applications were coming up to apply for Mayor. Basically, at 12:01am on August 1, she decided to get into the Prosecco and one thing led to another and she became a mayor candidate.

How would you solve Auckland's congestion issues?

Well Brian Tamaki [John Tamahere is the candidate, not Tamaki] suggested 18-lanes on the harbour bridge, Fiona has decided to do one better and go with 19 lanes. The 19th lane will either be a green belt through the middle of the bridge or it will be a cycleway and walkway.

What's your position on declaring a climate emergency?

She is definitely [keen on it]. One of her best friends lives on the cliff overlooking Narrow Neck Beach and they can no longer insure it because the rising seawater is tearing away at the cliff, so obviously it an issue. So obviously, she is declaring it as a climate crisis.

How would you approach Ihumātao?

With Ihumātao, she would find her favourite cabernets and Pinot Gris and she would sit down with everyone involved and we would all talk it out and find the best compromise for everyone.

Does you believe there needs to be a cat cull?

Fiona does like cats but what she is thinking might be quite nice is to bring back stoles. Her grandmother had a fox stole, so maybe we could make cat stoles a fashion statement again.

Glen Snelgar.
Glen Snelgar. Photo credit: Newshub.

Glen Snelgar


Why are you running for mayor?

The main reason I wanted to run is that we are getting a lot of taxes put on us and less services we are getting for that. I was really motivated by the issue that we are paying taxes on our fuel, 11.5 cents, so I will scrap that. We haven't really got anything for that. We have got ghost trams promised to go through the Mayor's former electorate and nothing has come from that, so we are not getting anything for the tax so we want to scrap that tax.

How would you solve Auckland's congestion issues?

The main thing we need to look at is our arterial roads and getting cars moving through those arterial roads. Of course, Auckland Transport can't do anything about the motorways and if they want to put any expensive trains or 18-lane harbour bridges in, they are going to need more money from the Government. So what we can do with the money we are raising from Auckland is put it into arterial roads and get people moving through those roads. A lot of those roads are still 50km/h roads and AT wants to reduce the speed limits on some of those roads and somehow that is paradoxically going to get everyone moving by making everyone move slower. Arterial roads are not just for roads, but they are also for buses. They are pushing everyone to go onto buses and public transport, but they have to go along those roads as well. So I think there needs to be investment on those roads to get motorists moving, get buses moving, get cyclists moving, get people walking and moving on the roads. I think that is why their spending priorities should lie. 

Do you support Māori seats on the Council?

No, I don't. We already have the Māori statutory board. They are able to appoint people to boards simply by being Māori. They are not elected at all and are able to vote on the boards. Traditionally, they have voted in favour of the Mayor. So that could be a bonus for me, but my preference would be to have general electorate seats only on the Auckland Council.

What kind of people do you think will vote for you?

I am a right thinking leader and I think people on the right-wing of Auckland need someone to vote for. We have two former Labour Cabinet Ministers leading this and apparently the other frontrunners don't have any policy at all. They have a policy of not having a policy. So I think there needs to be someone sitting on the right-wing, who is going to give people an option to vote for no taxes and lower rates so they can have something to get out and put their mail in the mailbox and have a reason to actually get up and do that.

Peter Vaughan.
Peter Vaughan. Photo credit: Newshub.

Peter Vaughan


Why are you running for mayor?

I was asked to run for Mayor, it wasn't something I was thinking of before then so I took it on board and thought, well, I better start asking what it is Auckland that has problems with - apart from the obvious ones, traffic. The PV for mayor on my little logo is 'people's voice', so I went out and asked the questions, seemed to have got lots of answers with what's going on, then I went out and found the solutions.

What is the number one issue facing Aucklanders?

Two - pollution and transport - but I'll stick with pollution. It's deemed a crisis in Auckland and in other parts of the country. The biggest issue there is where is it coming from? And it's not coming from the cows, it's actually coming from landfills. In fact it's a hundredfold more that come off landfills so landfills are the one things that I'm going to be stopping. And waste-to-energy plants - I've organised three of those already, so they're coming in too, not too far away from doing the deals right now. So whether I make mayor or not the waste-to-energy plants are still going in to take the pollution away.

How would you solve Auckland's congestion issues?

There are several modes of transport which I am amazed haven't been looked at formally. There are two types of trains that could be used on the roads that exist. They're rubber-wheeled trains, they're used in China, Japan and Australia and they carry more people than buses do, 300 to 500 at a time. They run on electricity, you don't need overhead lines and they are so modern that the technology that they're going to literally remove congestion instantly once they're installed. The other one is a mono-type rail which goes over the top that is run on air. It's not run on rail, it's run on air so that's something which has been running in Brazil for years and these things aren't being looked at.

Are you pro-5G networks or anti-5G networks?

I've just done a big film clip with an expert in the field and we've discussed it at length. It's the power driven from the 5G networks. 5G is not proven safe, that's the key. It's not a case that it doesn't work, it does. It is not proven safe. I tell people if you want to know what 5G is like take the door off your microwave oven, fix or jimmy the clips, put something in there, turn it on and watch it and your eyes will start to burn and cook. It's a microwave, it's extremely dangerous. let's not muck around with what we haven't proven yet. That's the problem. It's commercially driven.

Do you support vaccines?

I've got a real problem with it because I didn't like needles when I was young. I found most of what goes into people's arms and I'm involved with autism, special needs children and I'm not saying it creates that but there are other ways of looking at it so vaccinations are important and they have helped humanity in a big way just some I'm not sure of, so I'm not going to go down there that easily.

Watch the egg-and-spoon race above.

*Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity. Newshub invited all candidates to the event, except two who could not be contacted.