Auckland mayoralty: Craig Lord wants to get back to 'core business'

LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff
Auckland mayoral candidate Craig Lord talks to Stuff's Todd Niall about his chances in the October 2022 elections.

Second-time Auckland mayoral contender Craig Lord wants the council he would lead to define the “core business” it should stick to, but won’t say what he thinks needs to be dropped.

The engineer-turned-media-freelancer is giving the thumbs down to making public transport fare-free, opposes a rate to fund climate change action, but favours introducing charges for park and ride facilities.

Lord doesn’t believe a mayoral candidate should have detailed policy, but should be ready to listen to Aucklanders and what they want.

He finished a distant third in 2019 behind Phil Goff and runner-up John Tamihere, a result which encouraged him to run again in October 2022 for a mayoralty being vacated by Goff.

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Lord would ask Aucklanders their thoughts on what “core business” for a future council should be.

“It’s about providing the stuff that makes a city run – everything outside that is fluff, and the list is so long we could spend hours talking about it,” Lord told Stuff, but didn’t share what he thought the fluff was.

“That’s a really good question, which is why I think this document has never really been done and why it will take a lot to discuss it,” he said.

Auckland mayoral candidate Craig Lord.
LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff
Auckland mayoral candidate Craig Lord.

Asked what his vision as mayor would be, he had one word: “Frugal.”

“Right now there’s a financial storm coming, so the vision has to be bringing Auckland council back to being a pristine provider of core services.”

Asked whether he favoured investing ratepayers’ money in climate action, Lord replied “yes and no”.

“The ‘no’ is that I don’t believe we should be taxing residents for funds for climate change repairs – there’s got to be other solutions.”

Candidate Craig Lord at Stuff’s 2019 Auckland mayoral debate.
Jason Dorday/Stuff
Candidate Craig Lord at Stuff’s 2019 Auckland mayoral debate.

Lord wanted the city to examine the viability of an elevated personal transport system called Metrino, has called for greater protection of prime horticulture soil in Franklin, and better roading and public transport in Rodney ward.

Labour and Greens-endorsed councillor Efeso Collins is the only existing council politician seeking the mayoralty.

The other declared contenders include Restaurateur Leo Molloy, Heart of the City CEO Viv Beck, businessman Wayne Brown, Hibscus and Bays local board chair Gary Brown, Jake Law, and Ted Johnston.

Lord has no political experience and describes himself as pragmatic.

“Auckland voters need to know they will have a person who will listen to them, appreciate what they have to say, respect what they have to say and bring it to the table, not brush them off.”