Wellington mayoral candidate Jack Yan says he is surprised at the spending of Wellington City Council on its food and drink, revealed by The Dominion Post as six times higher than that of Porirua City Council.
He insists that job creation and growing Wellington’s creative clusters need to take place first, outlined as part of his free wifi and employment plans for the capital.
Mr Yan says, ‘I don’t believe in having the party before we do the hard work.
‘We can balance the budget, by spending more wisely and with greater transparency— two things I have not seen in more recent years in Wellington.’
Mr Yan’s says his plan, which begins with creating a free wifi service for central Wellington and growing the city’s creative and technological clusters, will begin redressing the city’s 1½ per cent increase in unemployment over the last year.
The new jobs, in turn, will lead to a safer inner city, he says.
He says he continues to support Wellington’s event capital ideas, and that they need to work hand-in-hand with his creative cluster proposals.
‘Think about it: we’re going to have tourists coming here for the World Cup and realize they can’t even look at their Google Maps. We’re going to lose a lot of credibility on that—as for the Sevens, we can kiss that goodbye, too.’
‘We have a divided council that needs firm direction on how to grow the economy, and a mayor who is cosmopolitan enough to understand what “world-class city” means. Wellington needs to be active on the mayoral task force on jobs—and currently, we aren’t.’
Mr Yan says that Wellingtonians are keen for a change at this year’s local elections, and he represents the best chance to solve the problems that the present council wishes to ignore.
Mr Yan recently returned from a fact-finding mission and speaking tour in Sweden and France, investigating environmental and public transport policies.
He claims to have support ‘at high levels’ already for some of his IT policies.
A related plan is to have full transparency in city decision-making, by introducing a city blog where citizens’ comments have the strength of formal council submissions.
‘We’re spending ratepayer funds like there’s no tomorrow—I say we provide ratepayers with the transparency we deserve,’ he says.