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Controversial Auckland businessman Leo Molloy announces intention to run for Mayor in 2022 local election

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Related video: Leo Molloy - the owner of HeadQuarters restaurant in Auckland's up-market viaduct - said the world would be better off without Kanoa Lloyd. Credits: Video - The Project; Image - Tina Tiller / The Spinoff

Controversial Auckland businessman Leo Molloy has announced his intention to run for Auckland Mayor in 2022 - and has already outlined his plans to clear out the council and crack down on "woke pretentious white whinging wankers".

Molloy, a prominent but polarising figure in the city's hospitality industry, has cultivated a reputation as a contentious character, making numerous headlines over the years for his caustic takes on Labour Party politicians, veganism, and media personalities

As the owner of HeadQuarters, a popular bar-cum-restaurant situated on the waterfront Viaduct, Molloy now has his sights set on politics - starting with his mayoral candidacy in next year's local election.

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In an announcement on HeadQuarters' Facebook page on Saturday, Molloy shared his intention to become a "coruscating contender" in 2022. 

"His policy platform is a work in progress, the two most compelling issues he wants addressed are correlated, get rid of the bloody road cones, and get Auckland moving again, which of course means sorting those lunatics at Auckland Transport out," the announcement reads.

Molloy confirmed his upcoming candidacy to Newshub via text.

The announcement also outlined Molloy's stance on a number of issues (pro-Resource Management Act reform, anti-inner-city quarantine hotels), providing a blueprint of what his policy might look like.

"For the record:

  • we're pro business
  • pro "user pays" infrastructural investments
  • pro making the city "party friendly"
  • pro "rainbow"
  • pro "activating" the waterfront
  • pro RMA reform
  • pro immigration
  • pro growth for the peripheral city
  • pro a bloody good clean out at Council
  • pro expediting the consents process
  • pro housing growth
  • pro creating great environments for kids & families, [e.g.] salt water swimming pools around the harbour
  • pro getting a decent "downtown" sports & events stadium
  • pro supporting the homeless, the vulnerable, and the needy
  • pro COVID vaccination, and precluding those not vaxxed from flying in or out of Auckland."

"On the flip side, we're anti using inner city hotels for quarantine, anti woke pretentious white whinging wankers who're self victimisers immersed in cancel culture, anti Labour loonies who don't deliver, e.g.Twyford, anti wasting rate payers money on (some) silly bloody bike lanes, and trains from Hamilton to Auckland, [and] anti those thieves in Wellington stealing our taxes to use for their mad unproductive ideas."

The post ended with a call for "running mate" applications - the only criteria for the role being "fabulous, famous, philanthropic, funny, [and] factually correct".


Leo Molloy outside HeadQuarters in Auckland's Viaduct. Photo credit: Tina Tiller / The Spinoff

Last year, Molloy sparked backlash after he directed a series of vicious messages at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern regarding the decision to delay the opening of bars amid New Zealand's outbreak of COVID-19.

In his diatribe, Molloy said Ardern's expectation for the delay was made up of "lies and half-truths" - and later said Ardern deserved to be "harassed" over the Government's internally acclaimed response to the pandemic.

Molloy had another brush with controversy when he was revealed to be the Auckland businessman who breached the name suppression order of Grace Millane's murderer. In April, he was fined $15,000 and sentenced to community work for the breach.

In 2019, Molloy also came under fire for targeting The Project's Kanoa Lloyd, saying "the world would be better off" without the media personality.

Molloy has also received backlash for his provocative social media rants, many of which are directed at vegans, but have also been been known to insult rugby league fans.

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