The Herald reports:
Right-winger Stephen Berry has pulled out of the Auckland mayoral contest at October’s local body elections and endorsed centre-right candidate John Palino.
In a statement issued today, Mr Berry said when he announced in April 2015 he would run for the mayoralty, he said he would stay in the race as long as there was not another candidate with similar policies who stood a better chance of winning.
“Initially, when John Palino announced he would stand for the mayoralty again, I was sceptical of the benefits of yet another candidate splitting the centre-right vote and allowing Phil Goff to sleepwalk to victory.
“Unlike some other centre-right candidates, John has not been slow to offer solutions to the issues facing Auckland. His proposal to cut rates by 10 per cent over three years is a great starting point in the conversation about the role Auckland Council has assumed.
“John’s call to abolish the Metropolitan Urban Limit mirrors my own proposals to increase housing supply, while his plan to create development hubs outside of the central city revolutionises the usual tired central planning mantra.”
Mr Berry said he believed Mr Palino’s policy positions make his own candidacy unnecessary for this election cycle.
“That’s why I am now endorsing John Palino to be the next Mayor of Auckland.”
Mr Berry was the Affordable Auckland candidate for Mayor in 2013 where he finished third behind Mr Palino, taking nearly 4 per cent of the vote.
Good to see the number of candidates on the centre-right reducing. The more there are, the better it is for Phil Goff.