Businessman Sir John Goulter, the former managing director of Auckland International Airport Ltd, has launched his bid for the Far North mayoralty.
Opening his campaign at a public meeting near Paihia on Wednesday night, Sir John strongly criticised an attempt by Mayor Wayne Brown to create a unitary authority, saying there is no significant public mandate for such a move.
He said the council had spent much time and money on a process the Government did not support, at the cost of strained relationships with partners like the Northland Regional Council.
Sir John says the biggest problem facing the Far North is a lack of investment and the difficulty of doing business there.
The former Reserve Bank director now lives in Paihia and chairs the Ngapuhi Asset Holding Company.