23 Aug 2013

Auckland's mayoral candidates address Greypower

9:32 pm on 23 August 2013

Auckland's leading mayoral candidates have had their first campaign encounter, promising lower rates rises and cuts to council staff numbers and salaries

The four main candidates have kicked off seven weeks on the campaign trail, before a Greypower audience in the Howick-Pakuranga ward.

Incumbent Len Brown promises a lower rate rise next year of 2.5% with his centre-right challenger John Palino going even lower.

Mana Party candidate John Minto wants a higher minimum wage for council workers, funded by cutting salaries among more than one hundred staff earning above $200,000.

Uesfili Unasa wants more investment in the poorer southern communities, and less spent on the mayor's office.

Friday's encounter was reportedly polite and low-key, with no one issue yet to ignite the contest.