Meeting 5 July 2016
Our meeting on Tuesday 5 July marked the beginning of President Simon’s year.
President Simon reported on his visit to One Tree Hill College to attend the graduation ceremony for participants in the Rotary Reading Enrichment Program which is supported by our club.  Read Simon's thoughts on the day here.
He also congratulated Ross George on his 50 years in Rotary.
We had an update from John Mitchell on our Habitat 4 Humanity project followed by our keynote speaker; Mark Thomas.
John Mitchell updated us on the Habitat for Humanity project that we will be undertaking in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity and St Cuthberts College. 
The projects name is “Help Hands Build”.  The build will hopefull be taking place in Newmarket on Broadway using Transit NZ Land under the Newmarket Viaduct.  This will be a major project for the club and you will be hearing plenty more on the subject.
Finally at Changeover the Club won the Rangitoto Trophy for environmental projects in our District.
Our Key Speaker for the meeting was Mark Thomas – Mayoral Candidate – Auckland City.
Mark gave us a summary of his background, which is a farming background, working in and managing a McDonalds store in Queen Street, Management roles with ANZ and the consulting and membership of the Orakei Local Board.
He identified 3 priorities that he would address if he becomes mayor. These are first making Auckland affordable, fixing Transport in Auckland and getting growth sorted.  In short he wants to have an “Auckland that works”.
Mark would rather work on the must haves and not the nice to haves, such as for example the white water rafting centre in Manukau.
Mark told us he wants to review the Auckland Plan when it is released.
There are fifteen key priorities in the plan. Only one is transport. He also wants a debate about the cities balance sheet which is strong on assets which could be better utilised. For example selling shares in the Airport or Harbour and applying the proceeds to transport. He wants to transfer money from poor quality spending to better value spending such as Transport and Infra-structure.
Auckland transport is a particular interest. Mark wants to re-organise it so it does not run as a private fiefdom, as it seems to do now.
Marks address was warmly received by members present.  A lively question time followed which showed those present had closely followed what Mark had said and wanted to test his position on various matters.
Thank you Mark.