Stop Wastage & Overspending
Greg will continue to push for greater financial accountability and transparency as well as stopping the wastage and overspending.
Council must stop wasting money rather than putting its hands deeper into your pockets.
Greg is one of the Councillors who is pushing for a review of the way the Council-controlled organisations (CCO's) operate in order that ratepayers receive better customer service and better value for money.
He is the Councillor who questions the most about the Council and its CCO's keeping the wages budgets under control.
Greg says Council-controlled organisations, or CCO's, such as Auckland Transport, Watercare and ATEED need to come under the microscope of an independent review. This should include their procurement practices (the letting of contracts) and ensuring CCO's listen to community concerns and promptly respond to them.
These major agencies are effectively independent companies with their own boards and management. The CCO's have often been accused of being unaccountable or out-of-touch.
Greg believes public entities must act in the public good and must be accountable to the public.
Councillors must focus the Council, and the CCO's, on living within their financial means.
We cannot afford to continue to have Councillors who abdicate the monitoring of the operational costs to the CEO alone. They must realize this is a governance responsibility. In fact, to succeed Councillors must lift their game and excel in this discipline of knowing precisely where and how rates are being spent across the Council and the other business units Council controls.
Get Council Back to Core Business
If Auckland is really about equality across the Region, then let’s have our roads, footpaths, walkways and public transport comparable with the rest of Auckland.
We need to get Council back to core business and the “need to haves”, like dealing with Warkworth’s and Kumeu’s traffic congestion; rather than the “nice to haves”, like pink cycle-ways, white-water rafting parks or giant hanging mirrors in the CBD.
We must have investment in our roads, transport choices and key water and sewerage infrastructure.
Greg wants an increase in the rate of road sealing within Rodney by increasing the annual sealing budget and also by making that money go further.
Not only do we need to catch up we need to be ready for the growth that is coming.
Auckland’s population is going to grow by almost 1 million people in the next 30 years. Rodney’s population will grow by 115,000 people, which is almost 3/4 the size of Hamilton.
That means Rodney will need another 47,000 new houses and 20,000 new jobs will be needed. We need the planning of our core services done in advance so our infrastructure is built in time for this rapid population growth.
Local Rates to Be Spent Locally
People are frustrated with decisions being made centrally by a disconnected “one-size- fits- all” mentality. We need our rates spent on our infrastructure not on Auckland CBD projects that provide little or no benefit for Rodney ratepayers. Council needs to start giving Rodney its fair share of Council’s spending. Greg is fighting hard for this.
With our area paying over $70 million in rates a year, Greg is working closely with the Rodney Local Board and jointly push for a fairer share of Council’s spending and he will always promote local projects.
He is also seeking solutions to improve the standard of the sealed and unsealed roading network's maintenance standards. Greg supports the Mahurangi River dredging project.
Unnecessary Council regulations and rules need to be removed. The time delays and cost to do business with Council is out of control.
License costs, user charges, compliance costs and consent costs have all skyrocketed. Many are being passed onto housing prices. These costs need to be reduced to sensible levels in order for new jobs and housing to be created. Any shortfall in revenue should be found from internal Council savings.
New policy removing red tape and allowing local contractors, community volunteers and community groups to deliver community projects is essential.
Fix The Traffic Congestion
Traffic congestion in Warkworth and Kumeu is getting worse by the day. At peak times there is already ‘grid lock’. Greg is regularly hounding the Government who owns the State Highways to get it fixed, and is a strong supporter of the local action groups who want this to happen!
Much more money needs to be spent on improving and maintaining rural roads as well throughout Rodney. The City Rail Link and other huge transport projects has meant Rodney is not getting its fair share of the cake. Greg is striving to ensure that we do and that Rodney receives higher priority in the regional strategies of Auckland Transport.
This includes road sealing and maintenance, significantly improved bus services throughout Rodney, rail services to Huapai, and Park’n’Rides for Kumeu and Warkworth and “greenway” paths to better connect our townships through safe pedestrian, cycle, and equestrian links.
Working proactively with the Government Greg is getting results by pushing for infrastructure such as new roundabouts at both the Muriwai (done) and the Riverhead Highway intersections with SH16, safety improvements along both SH1 and SH16 (happening), seeking and supporting improvements at the Hill Street intersection, achieving the final sign off on the Matakana Link Road (done) and he is lobbying Central Government and Transport Agencies for a mass public transport solution for the NorWest.