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Len Brown

Affordable Housing
Will you take the lead to amend zoning restrictions in order to free up land so as to lower costs of housing for first-home buyers?
  Maybe
I have been a strong advocate for delivering affordable housing. My council has retained, and is developing, its stock of housing for the elderly. We are working with the government, housing agencies and developers to bring new housing options to Auckland because families need warm, secure, comfortable and affordable homes. I am happy to look at options for rezoning land to provide more housing options - however that needs to be balanced with the need to protect communities, protect the environment and to manage development. I am in favour of development growing along public transport links to take congestion off our motorways.

Alcohol Outlets
Will you introduce bylaws and lobby for the restriction of alcohol outlets in residential areas and reduce the number of licences issued and trading hours
  Yes
I strongly believe we need to reduce the harm liquor does in our community. My council has promoted legislation to allow communities more say about the location and number of liquor outlets in their area and we put in a very strong submission to the Law Commission's review of liquor laws. You only need to walk down Queen Street to see the harm that abuse of alcohol can cause. If I am elected mayor I intend to devolve responsibility for consenting and liquor control to the local boards because I believe communities should have a stronger say over this issue.

Billboards
Will you introduce bylaws and lobby for G-rated public billboards with a pre-vetting system
  Maybe
I disagree with some of what I see on some billboards. However I do not believe it is the council's role to arbitrate on taste and decency, or restrict freedom of speech, no matter how much we disagree with what is being said. We have a chief censor who is responsible for regulating any inappropriate content. There is also an industry body which self regulates the industry and oversees complaints. I will, however, attempt to act as an arbiter if hugely offensive displays are put up.

Brothels
Will you introduce and lobby for bylaws restricting brothels in residential areas and close to sensitive sites such as schools, kindergartens, playgrounds and shopping areas frequented by families and children
  Not Sure
I have been following this issue in the media and am sympathetic to the concerns expressed. At Manukau City Council we adopted a brothels bylaw in 2004. The bylaw dictates that brothels are only allowed to be located within business zones 4-6, which effectively means that they can only be located on the periphery of town centres in the more industrial areas. Furthermore, our bylaw states that brothels cannot be located within 250 metres of an educational facility, community facility, or place of worship. I am strongly of the opinion that local communities should have a say on issues such as where brothels, liquor outlets, and gambling facilities are located. I believe that in the new Auckland Council local boards should have strong input into bylaws governing these types of activities.

Facilities for family events
Will you introduce a bylaw preventing the hireage and use of Council owned buildings and facilities for R-rated events?
  No
I am not sure of this being an issue in the region. I believe different groups in the community should have the right to use Council facilities as long as they meet the application criteria, respect Council property and not harm or interfere with others, then they should be allowed to use them as they see fit.

GST on Rates
Will you campaign for parliament to remove GST on Rates?
  No
I understand the concern of many people about paying GST on rates, but this is a decision for government. I am focused on keeping rate increases as low as possible (we have kept rate increases close to inflation and achieved a zero percent water rates increase in my council) and finding other funding mechanisms for delivering the infrastructural projects and services our region needs.

Loan Sharks
Will you lobby the government for greater regulation of loan sharks - especially those targeting lower socio-economic areas - including capped interest rates and registration
  Yes
I helped launch a campaign to regulate and provide greater transparency for loan sharks and wrote to the Prime Minister asking, on behalf of the Council, for him to support legislation to restrict loan shark practices. People face considerable financial hardship after signing up for unfair interest rates and hidden clauses. I will stand up for my community when I see something that is unfair. Many other countries have caps on what interest rates can be charged and I think lenders have a responsibility to make sure those they are lending to are able to meet the repayments.

Pokies
Will you introduce and lobby for a reducing lid policy on pokie machines, especially in low socio-economic areas
  Yes
I see the harm gambling addiction does to families every day. I worked with the Problem Gambling Foundation to help introduce a "no more pokies" policy in our city (you might have seen me on their advertisements). I believe communities deserve much more of a say in the location and number of gambling outlets in their area.

Public nudity / marches
Will you lobby the government to clarify offensive behaviour under the Crimes Act in order to prevent parades involving nudity and/or offensive behaviour eg boobs on bikes, beach nudity
  No
I might not like the activities of some people, but again I do not believe it is the council's role to arbitrate on what is decent and I am very reticent to restrict freedom of expression, even if I disagree with it.

Street Prostitution
Will you introduce and lobby for bylaws to ban street prostitution?
  Yes
The issue of street prostitution is a problem for communities. Manukau City Council promoted legislation to parliament that sought to regulate street soliciting. These changes need to be matched with education and health campaigns. There is always going to be prostitution, therefore it needs to take place in a safe space.
Key
Yes
Maybe – and open to the idea
Not Sure – but open to the idea
Maybe
Not Sure
No

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