Keep Our Assets run John Minto as Christchurch mayoral candidate
Political activist John Minto is running for the Christchurch mayoralty.
Three years after seeking the Auckland mayoralty, veteran protester Minto has announced his intention to challenge Christchurch incumbent Lianne Dalziel in October's local body elections.
Minto has been involved in the city's anti-asset sales group since relocating from Auckland early last year.
The Keep Our Assets (KOA) group said members had chosen to run a candidate to try and stop the council selling assets.
In an update last month, council chief financial officer Peter Gudsell said the negotiations around the potential sale of City Care were continuing.
KOA has held silent protests in the council chambers during public meetings many times this year.
They hold a large banner saying "Save City Care" and smaller signs saying "Shame on You", labelling the eight councillors who supported selling assets as "sellouts".
At a meeting in May, Dalziel told the group they were disrespectful to protest during the public participation part of meetings.
Minto said Christchurch's central city was set to become a "corporate husk" and he believed elected officials were doing little to ensure the views of residents were put at the forefront.
"The only thing I want for this campaign is for people to take a good look at our policies and judge us on those.
"If they're not interested, then fine."
Minto said he would campaign on free public transport and building at least 1000 additional council houses in the next three years.
KOA wants to reduce the salaries of senior management staff, pay all council workers and contractors the 'living wage' and focus on improving the quality of rivers in Canterbury.
Since moving to Christchurch, Minto has helped set up a new local activist collective, the Christchurch Progressive Network.
Minto's activism started with Halt All Racist Tours in the 1980s. Other causes like Palestine and anti-surveillance have followed. He spent six years as an organiser with the union Unite and is vice president of Hone Harawira's Mana Party.
Speaking to Stuff earlier this year, Minto said Christchurch had been worn down by the earthquakes, but strong neighbourhood-based politics remained.
Minto has been critical of the rebuild, saying it has become a game of spending public money and encouraging corporate interests.
Warren Brewer, a member of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, will be Minto's campaign manager.
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