Manukau candidate wants to dump debt

01:43, Jan 31 2009
DIRECT DEMOCRAT: Manukau mayoral candidate Kelvyn Alp.

Manukau city would be run along extremely different lines if mayoral candidate Kelvyn Alp has his way.

Mr Alp, who is also standing for a Mangere councillor position, is calling for binding citizens-initiated referendums to decide major council issues.

The public should directly decide which major projects happen and the council should eliminate its debt, Mr Alp says.

"The city must live within its means. It cannot overextend itself."

Mr Alp, a 36-year-old company director, stood in the Mangere councillor by-election last year, finishing fourth out of eight candidates with 956 votes.

He admits he has 'had a past which is very involved in many aspects'.

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He was once involved with the Maori separatist organisation New Zealand Armed Intervention Force.

He disagrees with the recent rates inquiry opinion that councils should take on more debt to pay for new projects.

"Council debt is a huge issue because that debt attracts interest and then penalty interest and the interest is ever occurring."

Mr Alp says he 'knows for a fact' that 'the whole idea is to rate you out of your homes so you become tenants rather than owners because who is going to bite the hand which feeds them'.

What issues go out for referendum should be decided using common sense and then the full costs of options must be fully disclosed to the people, he says.

He also wants citizens to be given the 'power of recall' to remove a poorly performing councillor from office.

The council should abandon big-ticket road projects that require borrowing, Mr Alp says.

Congestion, which projects like the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative are aimed at fixing, could be solved if people opted for staggered work start and stop times to spread traffic.

"It's cheap and very simple - where the community gets together and decides to change this. We don't need to dig deeper into their pockets."

There should also be full public funding of roads as happened before World War Two.

Mr Alp wants all councils to have small-scale combined heat and power plants which convert biomass and sorted waste into electricity.

"I have solutions but unless they are brought to the table who is going to know about them?"

Eastern Courier