Born in Birkenhead, George Wood was educated at Birkdale Primary School, Northcote Intermediate School and Northcote College.
George enjoyed a distinguished 32-year career in the New Zealand police force – culminating in being awarded the New Zealand Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1980, along with the 14-year clasp prior to his retirement in 1998.
He then entered local body politics. George Wood was elected mayor of North Shore City in 1998, going on to serve three consecutive terms as mayor between 1998–2007.
“I am standing for Auckland Council to get Auckland and the North Shore back on track, and ‘out of the red.’ As former mayor of the North Shore, Auckland Councillor, and member of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, I have the much-needed experience and proven track record of delivery for our city,” said George Wood.
“This includes delivering the Northern Busway, as well as improving the North Shore beach water quality through delivering major improvements to the wastewater piping network, including the rebuild of the Rosedale wastewater treatment plant.”
Make the ‘right’ choice – vote George Wood for Auckland Council.
- In the final three years of his lengthy career with New Zealand police, George Wood was the manager of police services within what was North Shore City
- George Wood was elected mayor of North Shore City in 1998. During three consecutive terms as mayor between 1998–2007, Wood pushed through major reforms in sewerage waste water infrastructure improvements, revamping the strategic plan and long term funding programme for North Shore City, and developing and building the Northern Busway project
- Following the 2001 local government elections, Wood was elected to the position of chairperson of the Auckland Mayoral Forum. In this role, Wood pushed through a major joint programme between the Government and Auckland councils for transport funding. This culminated in the Government passing the Local Government Auckland Amendment Act 2004, and the resulting provision of an additional $1.6 billion of transport funding over the following 10 years
- In 2006, George Wood indicated his support for the amalgamation of Auckland's seven city councils and boards into one 'supercity' Auckland council. Wood was one of four mayors who asked Prime Minister Helen Clark to reform the Auckland region's local government structure. Subsequently, the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance was formed to investigate the future of local government across the Auckland region. Wood called for one Auckland council across the region with a mayor elected at large, 13 elected and five appointed specialist councillors, and 13 boroughs to replace the existing councils and community boards
- During a break from local body politics after the 2007 election, George Wood worked behind the scenes on a number of projects relating to transport in the city. He was particularly vocal over the need to upgrade or replace the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and strongly urged the improvement of public transport across the Auckland region
- George Wood was a councillor on the Auckland Council from its inception in 2010 until 2016. He joined the Citizens and Ratepayers Association (C&R), and was elected to the council on the Citizens and Ratepayers North Shore ticket to represent the North Shore Ward. In his first term (2010–13), Wood was appointed chairperson of the Community Safety Forum, and deputy chairperson of the Accountability and Performance Committee. A major revamp of the graffiti control and removal plan across the Auckland Region was undertaken under the direction of the Community Safety Forum, chaired by Wood
- During his second term on Auckland Council, George chaired the whole-of-council Strategy and Policy Committee and pushed through a number of important policy issues during this three-year period
- George Wood has been on the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board for the last six years.
Law and order – “As a former police officer, criminal investigator, and area commander, I am committed to introducing a policy of zero tolerance for gangs and the lawlessness they bring across our city, particularly on the North Shore. I believe I have a lot to offer in fostering a strong working relationship with Auckland police.”
Fiscal accountability - “We must get council spending back under control and make elected members and bureaucrats accountable to ratepayers. This requires putting the proverbial microscope over all spending to ensure money is spent wisely.
Rate controls – “The residents of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board area are paying high levels of rates to the Auckland Council. In order to cover the huge debt levels of the Council, we now have to face rate increases each year, along with targeted rates to prop up extra services. These rates are to provide for climate change service, the natural environment, storm water, and now also to subsidise our rubbish collection services. These continual rates increases must be controlled and reduced wherever possible.”
Improving public transport – “One of my four key policy platforms will be pushing to improve our public transport services on the North Shore. Buses and ferries have been part of my psyche since the days I was a young boy, and my father worked as a bus driver for Birkenhead Transport.”
Listening to local board members - “Our two current councillors – Richard Hills and Chris Darby - do not seem to work as a team with the other councillors from the Albany and Rodney wards. They are rarely seen at local board meetings. They do their own thing and do not listen to the local board’s position on the issues. Failure of our councillors to work with their local board means it is so difficult to get our views brought to the mayor and the governing body of Auckland Council. The North Shore Ward councillors are not taking on board our views and suggestions on behalf of Kaipatiki and Devonport-Takapuna ratepayers. It’s time to get Auckland back on track, and ‘out of the red’.”