Quite a few people have asked for a voting guide for the Auckland Council elections. I’m not in Auckland but follow the Council closely, so happt to share my thoughts.
If you think the Council is doing a great job, then of course you’ll vote for Phil Goff, and his team. If however you want a Council that will be more fiscally responsible with your money, then here are my recommendations for each ward:
It’s effectively a choice between Goff and Tamihere. Tamihere will shake up the status quo.
Wayne Walker and John Watson. Both these councillors have been tireless in holding the line against Phil Goff on issue after issue, including saving Western Springs and preventing the loss of marinas. They have worked to preserve some beautiful parts of Auckland, including Okura from land development.
Christine Fletcher and Mark Thomas. This is a Ward where the Labour-City Vision-Greens machine has squandered their mandate. No one thought Cathy Casey would be under serious threat but she and local board allies like Peter Haynes are now facing serious headwinds on issues like Chamberlain Park and the disastrous Mt Albert town centre upgrade. If Mark Thomas joins Christine Fletcher, the centre-right’s majority will be greatly enhanced.
Bill Cashmore is unopposed.
Sharon Stewart and Paul Young. Sharon Stewart will top the poll but Paul Young will face a tougher fight. He has been an outstanding warrior for his ward and is a strong ally on the centre-right.
Efeso Collins is a worthy vote as he has shown real independence.
The second place is a choice between Alf Filipaina and a communist league candidate. I suggest you only vote once for Collins to send a message,
Angela Dalton and Daniel Newman. Lucky voters in this ward have the option of these two candidates, both of whom are well known for putting their community ahead of party politics. Newman was rated the most effective Councillor by both Simon Collins and Bernard Orsman. Dalton is well respected for her work as a local board chair.
Labour has selected one candidate who refers to electing a woman to council as “… a crap statement” and another who lives in Remuera to run in this South Auckland ward.
Josh Beddell. Boundary changes in the form of thousands of voters moving from Ellerslie and St Johns coupled with a strong campaign from C&R now threatens the Labour majority up and down the ballot paper. Strategically voting for every C&R candidate (the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board is on the brink of being flipped as well).
Grant Gillon and Danielle Grant. Gillon is a fomer Alliance MP and Grant a National Party member but they have shown how to put the community ahead of party politics, working as part of the More For The Shore team.
It can only be Desley Simpson.
Greg Sawyers is unopposed
Whomever wins here will vote with Goff. Linda Cooper is the least bad candidate.
Waitemata and Gulf
There are three candidates who could win. City Vision’s Pippa Coom, C&R’s Sarah Trotman and incumbent Mike Lee.
If the election was STV I’d say vote Trotman 1 and Lee 2. But it isn’t. It is FPP and if City Vision pick up the seat, Goff is more likely to be able to push through big rates increases.
Mike Lee as the incumbent is most likely, in my opinion, to beat Coom. Lee is a leftie, but Lee has support from all sides, including Don Brash on the Right and Lisa Prager on the Left. No one councillor has done more to stand up to Phil Goff more than Mike Lee. He is also a fierce advocate for small business operators, heritage and water quality.
I think Sarah would be a great Councillor, but I’ve not seen any polling that suggests she can beat Coom. So this is about voting strategically.
Tracy Mulholland. Tracy is a sensible middle-of-the-road candidate who stands a real chance of beating Ross Clow, which would be another massive blow for Labour. The Whau Local Board may also flip if she wins.