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Who will be the next Auckland Mayor?

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, December 4th, 2021 - 35 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, david shearer, efeso collins, supercity - Tags:

If he decides to run again I suspect that Phil Goff will easily be re-elected as Auckland Super City mayor.  The job is immensely complex and hampered by the Super City model but Goff has performed well despite having to battle Covid and its consequences.

And he has learned that Local Government is a different beast to Central Government.  Earlier criticisms that he was not consulting sufficiently with councillors have disappeared.  He has addressed water quality and environmental concerns with targeted rates that are having a positive effect in these areas.  And when it comes to the big stuff, such as getting budgets passed, he has managed to achieve these without difficulty.

So it is his for the taking.  But he has already served six years in the role and the thought of committing to a further three years is clearly something he is considering.

The job is daunting.  In my view it is the toughest political job in the country.  Having 1.7 million constituents and having to continuously corral a disparate group of councillors without the benefit of a party system is at times all consuming.

It has also been rumoured that Goff could be in line for the American Ambassador’s position.  This must have some appeal.

There is discussion about who his successor may be.  In a clear sign that Goff is thinking of moving on former Labour leader David Shearer’s name was floated as a possible successor.  Shearer is a good friend of Goff’s and these sorts of media stories do not appear randomly.

But yesterday this potentially managed succession was tipped on its head by an announcement by Manukau Councillor Efeso Collins that if Goff stands down he wants to be considered for the job.

From Todd Niall at Stuff:

Auckland councillor Efeso Collins is keen for a run at the Auckland mayoralty.

In July, Collins and his family received bomb and death threats after criticising the reality TV show Police Ten 7. He said this moment was pivotal in putting his name forward.

“I studied philosophy at university, and there was a philosopher who said our decisions are made more real when we confront the idea of death,” Collins told Stuff.

“My family have reflected on the bomb threats. We want to give our lives and our time toward an amazing cause. And I want to spend my time giving back to Auckland.”

Collins said it was too early to confirm his candidacy, but as mayor he would give back to a city which had “given so much” to he and his family.

“If the Labour Party were to run a selection process for a mayoral candidate that they will endorse, I would be more than happy to make myself available to seek that nomination,” the Manukau Ward councillor said.

A Collins candidacy would potentially lack the big funding required to run an effective Mayoral campaign.  But he would feature strongly in the South and the West where all of the Mayoral campaigns have been won.  And he is an exceptional public speaker and is bright but down to earth.

I suspect that a Collins campaign would draw heavily on Pacific talent and rely on social media such as this gem, produced for his tilt for the Manukau East seat.

Together with Josephine Bartley Efeso has been doing sterling work getting Auckland’s Pasifeka population vaccinated.  In the Counties Maanukau Health Board area the rate for Pacific is now a reassuring 89%, just short of the target.  The work load is intense, but their sense of dedication and commitment to their community is exceptional.

Collins’ announcement has attracted a lot of attention.  In the world’s largest Pasifeka city it may be time for its first Pasifeka Mayor.

35 comments on “Who will be the next Auckland Mayor? ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    I don't recall Labour ever running a selection for the Auckland Mayoralty. The Party has certainly endorsed certain candidates in the past, but Mayors have tended to stand as "Independents" and ask for support/endorsement from Parliamentary parties and other political organisations. Phil Goff did not stand as a Labour candidate for the Mayoralty.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    It is totally time for Aucklands first Pacific Mayor. “Worlds largest Polynesian City” is a clue as to why that is a good thing.

    And lets not forget it was South Auckland, and West Auckland that handed Banksie his rear on a plate–Mr Banks being a “shoe in” as first Supercity Mayor according to his Natzo & ACT mates until Len Brown’s support base opened that large can of whip–ass.

    Efeso seems a strong candidate, I have followed his progress over the years, regardless of ethnicity and his community. If Mr Goff decides to move on Mr Collins would be a good successor.

    A big turn out from South and West could make it happen. Can the voter participation rate be raised out of the 38% range where it has seemed to max out in recent times, will be interesting.

    • Unicus 2.1

      Identity politics and the ghastly woke policy’s which have emerged in the current government is the reason thousands of once staunch Labour Party supporters have quietly sliped away to new political homes

      Merit must be the only criteria for candidate selection and David Shearer has merit in spades . He is also is in the happy position of being a popular proven leader without a toxic ego who will win votes across the city

      Just what Auckland needs

      • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1

        “Efeso seems a strong candidate, I have followed his progress over the years, regardless of ethnicity and his community.” is what I wrote–so you can sod off Unicus.

  3. Molly 3

    I would vote for Efeso Collins. I hope Goff steps down.

  4. mary_a 4

    Efeso has already proved himself to be a strong community leader. Yes, time for a Polynesian mayor for Auckland. Efeso Collins is the man for the job.

    • Gezza 4.1

      Exciting times. I too like the idea of a competent Pasifeka mayor for the largest polynesian city in the world.

      Aiming for the top is something Pasifeka Kiwis should be encouraged to do.

      • georgecom 4.1.1

        what I have seen of him appears to be a good candidate and very probably a good mayor. Auckland could do much worse.

        Imagine Judith Collins quitting Parliament to think she might stand a chance.

        • Gezza

          I hope she does. After her chronically embarrassing, dismal performance as LOTO, my (small) bet is that she’d probably stand a snowflake’s chance in hell of getting elected Mayor of Auckland. 😎

          But I’m a Wellingtonian, originating from Taranaki, so I am obviously not the best judge. And that’s why my bet is only for $2. 😀

  5. Sanctuary 5

    Shearer wouldn't have a shit show of winning. He would lose to whatever generic maverick right wing dick the right put up and was backed to the hilt by the Herald. I mean, who is going to vote for a generic white centrist with no constituency who is a confirmed electoral loser in the public mind? Even Josie Pagani and Phil Quinn would stay in bed if it was raining.

    If you want a candidate who can get his vote out and doesn't just represent the outdoor seating area of Headquarters bar on a Saturday afternoon, Collins is your man.

  6. EE 6

    Because a large part of what they do is perfunctory, a mayor needs razzamatazz.
    Something that Shearer lacks and Collins has a oodles of.
    Besides, who else can cite Hiedegger in an interview

  7. Blazer 7

    When I see the proposed candidates…Leo Molloy,Shearer,Paula Bennett etc…I wonder if Tim Shadbolt is…a hope!

  8. Ad 8

    Whoever is mayor of any council, they will be responsible for about a third less once the government has taken all water off them.

    This is fully happening, starting in just a few months.

    In Auckland all those dams and catchments in the Hunuas and Waitakeres get pulled away from Council.

    From November 2021 to 1 July 2024 the transition from the current system to the new one goes ahead within the Transition Unit, headed within DIA.

    Next year, 2022, the Transition Unit sets up the four entities, and starts amalgamating all the assets off all the councils, local and regional.

    It will certainly make all council budget consultations in 2022 and 2023 interesting.

    From 1 July 2024, four new water services entities will deliver drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services to people across New Zealand.

    It's claimed of course that local authorities will still have some influence, but this is precisely what the system has been set up to strip away.

    Mayor Goff or whomever will have about 1/3 less influence than what he has now.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.1

      A smaller role?, no just a people focussed future.

      Other advantages… Perhaps we will get less shite on and in the beaches and bays around Auckland?

      Perhaps Hastings and Napier may get better water quality and cleaner rivers.

      Perhaps there will be better charges made on high use industries, and better oversight of Health and safety.

      Perhaps the Councils may create more amenities and outdoor Gyms walks biking trails plus BBQ areas for picnics? More open air opportunities for art displays, sports activities.

      One can but hope 3 waters will be able to quickly replace flood damaged infrastructure.

      Few Councils have plans or programmes for their 3 waters, and South Wairarapapa has just sent out a 19% to 30% rates increase… there is the future without 3 Waters.

      Effesso Collins would be a great Mayor for Auckland. A genuine person, intelligent and practical.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Only the Queen or Doris Day could form such a foolish list of "perhaps".

        Efeso ought ask exactly what he would be mayor of.

      • millsy 8.1.2

        The 3 Waters will also keep council from handing water assets over to multinationals, as they have been doing sproadically over the past 30 years.

        Papakura and Franklin handed it over all to what is now Veolia water, while others used very complex lease and contracting arrangements to do it.

        Ideally they should be jumping at the chance to wash their hand off the water assets, and not trying to find excuses to privatise them. I wouldnt trust them as far as I could throw them.

        • Ad

          The controls against multinational takeovers are interesting but immaterial.

          The shift in power is more important and it is clear:

          The government has no control over water, nor local or regional government.
          And it is likely irreversible.

          In under 3 years New Zealand is to have the same army of major subcontractors doing the actual operations that we have in electricity, cable, and every other utility.

          The corporate boards will simply be the largest unaccountable monopoly we've ever formed, just another elite.

        • Marcus Morris


      • Graeme 8.1.3

        Council's losing the ability to borrow against their inground infrastructure might hamper their ability to do more of the people focused things.

        But borrowing against their inground infrastructure to do the people focused things (and getting themselves re-elected), rather than maintaining and upgrading their inground infrastructure is what has brought us to 3 Waters.

        • Sacha

          borrowing against their inground infrastructure to do the people focused things (and getting themselves re-elected)

          Tosh. For decades C&R 'saved' money on infrastructure maintenance so they could 'keep rates low' – and got re-elected.

          • Graeme

            Both sides of the local government political fence use their inground 'assets' to finance their respective ambitions. C&R use it to reduce rates rises, the others for above ground visible things. Both see it as doing things for their people. Either way the stuff in the ground loses.

            But it's all financed by the asset value of the local authority, of which 3 waters infrastructure has ended up a sizeable part. Take that away and councillors are going to be a bit constrained doing things to please their constituents (and get re-elected). Hence the hissing and spitting.

      • Patricia Bremner 8.1.4

        Efeso Correction.

      • Marcus Morris 8.1.5

        Totally agree Patricia. But we will never get poor old Ad to see sense. I think he is too tribally orientated.

    • Graeme 8.2

      Isn't that what WaterCare does in Auckland already?

      Does the Mayor have any control over WaterCare, or does WaterCare just tell the Mayor how it's going to happen?

  9. Ad 9

    The big question for Efeso, after tying a string to his little balloon, where is he going to find $1.5m to inflate a campaign big enough to rise above National's centre-right big money campaigners.

    I doubt a minority candidate could take Auckland. Unfair, but that's life.

    This job is still Goff's if he wants it.

    The question is why the government is making it such an unattractive role at all.

    • swordfish 9.1


      Yep … for all the talk of “Worlds largest Polynesian City” … Pasifikas comprise only around 16% of the Auckland population [probably a little less in terms of those of voting age].

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        You may find this discussion on woke racism engrossing.

        • swordfish


          Cheers, RL, I'll take a look … by co-incidence, just watched another McWhorter interview: John McWhorter: ‘Woke Racism’ Has Betrayed Black America on Youtube a few days ago [obviously his book's coming out … so not entirely a co-incidence that it popped up on my Youtube feed, I guess].


      • mickysavage 9.1.2

        Most Maori would support Efeso. Liberal pakeha would support as well.

        Goff would win it. But if he decides to stand aside the Efeso as a candidate needs to be considered.

    • millsy 9.2

      If Goff doesnt stand, who do you think will stand in his place?

  10. Peter 10

    There's only one who has all the answers for Auckland but he might be too busy having all the answers for New Zealand as a whole. In his mind.

    His supporters would agree but might have it though that he is too busy being God. So I don't expect Mike Hosking to put his name in.

  11. alwyn 11

    I am curious Micky. Who is the person with Ray Charles in your picture?

  12. Sacha 12

    I believe the word you are looking for Greg is Pasifika, not Pasifeka.

    Pasefika is another alternative that you might be thinking of.

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