The race for Auckland

Two polls have both shown Wayne Brown now in the lead for the Auckland Mayoralty.

A Curia-Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance poll from 11 to 18 September had Wayne Brown 2% ahead of Efeso Collins, and a Kantar-Q+A poll from 16 to 20 September has Brown 6% ahead. The Curia poll had Viv Beck withdraw halfway through the polling period while the Kantar poll was taken entirely afterwards (they also did a poll before hand, but redid it once Beck withdrew).

This confirms it is clearly a two horse race now between Brown and Collins, with Brown in the lead.

Collins is a very decent guy, and he would be more independent than Goff was. Yes he is Labour and backed by Labour, but he has been quite independent in how he voted on Council. If you were to have a Labour aligned Mayor, he would be a better choice than Richard Hills whose only mission as Mayor would be to help get Jacinda re-elected. Collins is not just a partisan hack.

That is not to say that I agree with his policies. I don’t. Free public transport is a monumentally stupid idea. The reason is simple – it will increase usage of public transport, but massively decrease quality as there will be no money to pay for extra capacity etc.

Brown has a formidable reputation as a very competent change manager, and if elected he is promising to upend the status quo. This is a good thing, as the vast majority of Aucklanders think the status quo is terrible. But there are question marks over his ability to take people with him – and the Mayor is only one vote.

Most promising is Brown has pledged to reduce the staffing bill for the Council, especially at the top end. It is pretty much impossible to keep rates increases low, unless you focus on staffing, as that is by far the largest cost. If Brown is elected, I suspect there will be a massive turnover of staff at the second and third level.

I would certainly vote for Brown if I loved in Auckland. If anyone can get the CCOs under control, it will be him.

For meaningful change, one needs to change not just the Mayor, but also the Council. Below are the candidates worth voting for, if you want a Council less likely to sign off huge rates increase. Inclusion here is not an endorsement of everything they do – it may be simply they are the lesser evil 🙂

  • Albany – Wayne Walker and John Watson
  • AEP – Christine Fletcher and Will McKenzie
  • Franklin – either Andy Baker or Keven Mealamu
  • Howick – Maurice Williamson and Sharon Stewart
  • Manukau – Malcolm Turner
  • Manurewa-Papakura – Daniel Newman and Rangi McLean
  • Maungakiekie-Tamaki – Troy Eilliott
  • North Shore – Danielle Grant and George Wood
  • Ōrākei – Desley Simpson
  • Rodney – Greg Sayers
  • Waitākere – Ken Turner and Shawn Blanchfield
  • Waitematā and Gulf: Mike Lee
  • Whau: Tracy Mullholland

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