The Herald reports:
Auckland City Mayor John Banks’ campaign team is distancing itself from suggestions of an unusual alliance with former Labour Cabinet minister John Tamihere if Mr Banks wins the mayoral race.
Mr Tamihere’s team had sounded out Mr Banks’ team on the prospects of Mr Tamihere becoming deputy mayor of the new Super City if Mr Banks got the top job, TV3 reported last night.
Mr Banks’ communications adviser, Scott Campbell, later confirmed an approach was made. But he said Mr Banks did not intend to make promises about any appointments.
“We would encourage John Tamihere to stand for the position of mayor. Auckland deserves a contest of ideas and he would have a lot to offer the Auckland Council.”
My gut instinct is John Tamihere would have a very good chance of winning a seat on the Auckland Council. He should bolt in, in a Waitakere seat, and his profile is high enough that he probably could win an at large seat, if they had kept them.
While Banks is not promising anything, it seems obvious that Tamihere is positioning himself to support Banks over Brown, despite their joint Labour heritage.
To some degrees Banks wins either way. If Tamihere just stands for Council, he will have Tamihere’s implicit endorsement which broadens his appeal. If Tamihere stands for Mayor, he is likely to pick up significant support from West and South Auckland, but relatively little from Rodney, North Shore and central Auckland – which should also benefit Banks.