A new Mayor for Auckland in 2016

Does Phil Goff want to be Mayor of Auckland?

If the answer is yes, and no other candidate announces their intention to run, then he is a shoo in. Yesterday Len Brown, the incumbent Mayor decided that he would not stand again because he thinks it is time that another person stood. His Mayoralty has been poisoned by the revelations of an extra-marital affair which had the makings of the script for a rather racy book. He also faced criticism over the Port of Auckland deciding it wanted to extend its container wharves.

However Len Brown has been no slouch in terms of getting things done as the following list suggests:

  • Getting electric trains into Auckland with the result that public transport passenger numbers are sky rocketing
  • The City Rail Link projects success was in large part due to work done by Mr  Brown
  • He has led the establishment of the Panuku Auckland Development Agency and the Auckland Investment Office, which are seeking public-private sector agreements to fund things that the rate payer base cannot

Len Brown has also had to deal with the issues of being New Zealand’s only super city, which with no precedent to follow has struggled at times to mould itself into a vision of what a functional, growing super city should look like administratively. The natural resource planning which in the past would have been under the jurisdiction of the Auckland Regional Council, the housing market, and the central Government expectations would have been a combination of problems that a light weight politician might have found off putting. But not for Mr Brown, who will leave office next year knowing that personal affairs aside, he has set the bar high for the next Mayor.

So, which will it be Auckland? A right wing Mayor with a market view of urban economics or another left wing candidate who can take advantage of the large immigrant population? Or will it be Mr Goff?

The choice, Auckland, is yours.

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