I thought I would do some posts about the Auckland super city elections. This is the first of five intended posts and will deal with the Mayoral candidates. The other four will deal with the Councillor elections on the North Shore, out west, in Auckland Istmus and in Manukau. These elections are potentially the most important as a majority on Council can frustrate the most progressive of Mayor’s policy platforms.
Nominations are closed and the candidates have been announced.
There are 17 candidates for Mayor. Len Brown should be safe. He has raised some concern amongst the left but my own view is that overall he has done well and deserves support. John Palino is probably going to be a distant second although John Minto’s principled campaign should deservedly attract some attention and a second place for him would be a tremendous result. His proposal for free public transport ought to attract proper debate and consideration and I wish him well.
The other candidates should not trouble the statisticians. Penny Bright will be there and her energy and commitment should be respected. Uesifili Unasa may sap support for Len amongst Pacifica but to be frank I am still struggling to work out what his beef with Len is.
The rest will generally not be known. There is a member of the Communist League and a Christian who is against abortion. David Willmot is apparently roads first. It would help if his website actually contained something and his campaign video from last time needs to be seen to be believed.
Reuben Shadbolt’s qualification to be Mayor is apparently that he is Tim Shadbolt’s son. Our elected representatives should have greater qualifications than this. Reuben is also seeking a seat on the Whau local board. It may be that he thinks that the publicity of a Mayoral campaign will get him elected onto the local board.
Other candidates include Stephen Berry, a libertarian, who is standing for the affordable party. The party’s website at the time of writing says that they are still seeking candidates. Someone should tell them that nominations have closed.
I am afraid that I do not know any of the other candidates.
So it looks like the result is a forgone conclusion. This could be bad in that the elections are important and a predictable Mayoral contest will suppress voter turnout.
The really interesting aspect is that there is no Community and Resident candidate. It appears that C&R are in some difficulty. In a city where the vast majority of Parliamentary seats are held by National you have to wonder why they do not have a Mayoral candidate.