John Banks has achieved much for Auckland City over his five years as Mayor.
- Banks rates rises in blue, left-wing rates rises in redkept overall rates rises within inflation for every year he was Mayor (CPI 2001-2004, CAI 2007-2010)
- delivered significant arts, cultural and recreational benefits for residents like big events, art gallery upgrades, and beach improvements
- brought in important transport projects like the Central Connector, and pushed for significant improvements like an inner city rail loop, integrated ticketing and electrification.
- saved important parts of Auckland from inappropriate development, like Westhaven Marina, heritage and character zones, plus significant heritage properties.
Here are some further examples of John’s achievements
RATES AND SPENDING
John Banks is working with a team to hold rates and spending to council audited inflation or less, which in the 2009 draft long term plan is 2.0%. This was a huge improvement for Auckland City residents who suffered massive rates hikes under the previous Mayor and Council. John is committed to careful spending and affordable progress because he understands its important to get value – as not everyone can pay their rates easily.
John Banks is pushing heavily for an inner city loop to enable the Britomart Train Station to run at optimum capacity. This valued improvement to our rail system would help more than just the CBD, but enable more efficient, regular and timely rail service from the centre to the west and south of Auckland region.
The “Central Connector” project, a bus lane from Britomart to Newmarket via the Universities, officially started construction in early April 2008. This project, now completed, allows for speedy bus travel between the CBD and Newmarket, while servicing Auckland’s “Learning Quarter”, as well as the Hospital and Medical School in Grafton. Making public transport as easy and as frequent as possible with projects like the Central Connector will be hugely important in improving your public transport option choices.
John also has a commitment to electrification of the trains and substantially upgraded modern rolling stock. Says John – “We’ll never encourage better public transport use with antiquated rolling-stock and unreliable service.” Fast, clean and user friendly trains will make a big difference in giving people choices in how they move around greater Auckland.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Delivering you a safer and more friendly city is a responsibility of the police and the council. This also means returning emphasis back onto community policing where there is a better understanding of local law and order requirements. John is pushing for more central government and police focus in these areas.
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John will bring back a zero-tolerance policy for graffiti and vandalism. Perpetrators will be pursued through criminal and civil courts to ensure the strongest deterrent.
In June 2009, we announced a partnership fund to assist mainstreets and business districts with extra law and order initiatives, including but not limited to CCTV, extra security patrols and lighting. This $500,000 fund will help mainstreets with the cost of delivering law and order improvements that benefit business owners and the public alike.
We are also investing in more noise control service. John is investing another $200,000 in improved noise control in 2009, and an extra $300,000 every year thereafter.
ARTS, CULTURE, EVENTS AND HERITAGE
John has helped fund heritage like the Sir George Grey collection, Auckland City Central Library
The John Banks led council has invested heavily in Auckland City’s arts, culture and heritage. Significant arts related capital projects have been advanced and initiated under Mayor Banks’ attention, such as the Auckland Art Gallery, the Q Theatre, Aotea Square and the TSB Wallace Art Gallery at Pah Homestead.
In addition to the arts, Mayor Banks has spent considerable time defending the city’s heritage, brokering a significant agreement between property rights advocates and heritage groups in order to protect the heritage and character of many parts of the city.
The John Banks led council has funded significant Auckland events, from sporting events like the inaugural Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, to bringing the World Rally Championships to Auckland, and continuing the significant and well attended cultural festivals, like the Auckland Heritage Festival, Diwali, Pasifika and the Lantern Festival.
ENVIRONMENT – BUILT AND NATURAL
John’s first term in 2001-2004 introduced the policy of re-sanding local beaches, and has continued to make Auckland’s beaches as people friendly as possible through re-sanding and ensuring public amenity through cleanliness and safety. Over his current term, more Auckland City’s beaches and harbours are receiving significant improvements. This includes beaches like Onehunga Foreshore, Judges Bay, Pt England and Herne Bay.
John has also stood up to inappropriate development proposals for the Orakei Point precinct. He has pushed for, and won, a masterplan process for this precinct to allow for more consultation for the public. He has also protected the Orakei Basin from the encroachment of further development.
John also helped save Westhaven Marina from inappropriate development in his first term, and this important waterfront space is now publicly owned.