Some Reckons from the @MetroMagNZ Summer Edition #SummerSeries AKLPols

Talk on the future of Auckland


If you have not grabbed or received a copy of the January/February edition of Metro Magazine and take an interest in Auckland’s affairs I do recommend it. Both Matthew Hooton and Simon Wilson have produced at-length pieces on what might be in store for the City as the Local Elections approach next year.


Now this post is done on the assumption you have read the two articles (pages 34 and 53) as I am not uploading to the blog and it is not online to the Metro Magazine site yet.


Starting with the Matthew Hooton piece (page 34) where he thinks the main mayoral candidates have a lot of work to do to be credible (they do):

  • Hooton also notes Goff and Crone being “independents” despite Labour and National backings
  • But while Hooton goes on about Goff and Crone being weak with their launches the piece about Penny Hulse our Deputy Mayor was interesting
  • It confirms what I thought in that Labour interfered and dissuaded Hulse wanting to run IF she wanted to run (was told happy with Deputy role in the new term)
  • Remember a vote for Goff is a vote of Len – that is the operators in Len’s Office as only the name on the door changes
  • Where as Mark Thomas has best articulated himself well regardless what I think of his policy
  • Basically Goff and Crone in their launches have come off weak in starting and their subsequent Radio NZ interviews are still not warming me up towards either of them (see: #SummerSeries 15/16: Mayoral Candidates Make a Pitch )
  • So Hooton is correct that Goff and Crone have a lot of work to do if they are to be seen as credible


As for the Simon Wilson piece (page 54) and the National – Auckland BBQ season:

  • Labour has its stuff sorted at Auckland level but not at central level, vice versa for National. Yeah odd I know
  • Now Auckland Future and C&R the two right wing groups for  . Where do I start with the muppetry and I mean from Auckland Future (the National Liberal wing) not C&R (the more conservative wing)
  • Because effectively the Right in Auckland has split itself into three different factions:
    • The old Communities and Residents group (C&R)
    • The new Auckland Future group
    • Independents like Councillor Calum Penrose
  • Simon has gone into a bit of detail about the Right looking for a central rallying point on the Governing Body of Auckland Council. From what I can interpret Crone was meant to be that rallying point (Crone is tied at least indirectly to Auckland Future) but that already has issues in itself.
  • I can not see the Coopers and the Penroses rallying around a Auckland Future Mayor or Council leader. They will rally around their own flags BUT support each other on common grounds in most votes. Look at the voting history now and you will see 10 Councillors will often but not always rally around the Deputy Mayor in this current term
  • Crone didnt tell her former boss (Rod Drury) of Xero she was planning to run and even Len’s Office new she was going to run for Mayor before Drury did
  • Crone’s priorities and intentions (see the Contact Energy Board situation) has Simon (and me) wondering why is she running
  • Simon goes back to the question of National winning Government but not Auckland Council and vice versa currently for Labour remembering Labour, Greens and Left independents unite under a the City Vision umbrella. So why can’t the Right unite under C&R which has history. Why has National split into two in Auckland while the Left unite most often as one?
    • Check the Waitemata Ward which Simon notes contains 70% of the City’s richest suburbs but puts in Mike Lee who needs to retire
    • As for Orakei it is tipped that Cameron Brewer will go and Orakei Local Board Chair Desley Simpson will take his place as Ward Councillor. Thank Lord! Like Hulse I like Desley and am aware of Desley’s politics. But Desley is a leader, gets on well with the Deputy Mayor and whether you agree with her policies or not she COMMUNICATES with her constituents.


Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse


I am going to break the reckons and post one of mine that just came to me now:

  • Crone and Goff (which ever gets elected) will I reckon not be able to rally more than seven Councillors around the table at any given time when it comes to the vote (Goff’s comments yesterday on Radio NZ about Whipping were stupid and naive). Currently Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse can get ten Councillors to rally around her which gives the votes to get policy items through the Council. Now this does not always happen given it we are a democracy but we have operated stably under Hulse’s tenure this current term
  • Goff and Crone are not getting the warm and fuzzies from the bulk of Aucklander’s who have no loyalty to a particular mayor nor politician as such at Council level. When a piece comes out from the media about Crone and Goff we are often left scratching our heads at these distinctly average candidates
  • Hulse transcends both National and Labour and this is witnessed through who rally behind her (Left, Right and ACT leaning Councillors) and when you prompt the City hard enough people recognise her
  • Essentially if Hulse is Deputy again (she does not want the Chains and I don’t blame her) in the 2016-2019 term I am sure 10 Councillors will rally back around her again rather than Goff or Crone. This presents an interesting situation when a City rallies around their Deputy Mayor but not the Mayor. THIS political pundits and strategists should be looking at with an electron microscope


Beach Rd left turn after Source: Supplied
Beach Rd left turn after
Source: Supplied


Back to the Simon reckons

  • Simon continues what I’ve pointed out in the past on where Councillor votes fall. Basically Fletcher, Brewer, Quax, Stewart and for that matter Lee are redundant and should move on for fresh blood around the Governing Body table
  • But this is where Simon and I differ: Simon states on page 58 that the Left and Right (apart from those named above) rally around the Mayor. As I have stated also above they actually around the Deputy Mayor not Len. This brings Len’s operators a very tough set of questions for the next Council term if Goff is elected. Making Hulse Deputy again triggers the same situation we have now (which is doing no harm to Auckland by the way). Not making Hulse Deputy will I wager piss the City off and fracture the Council to the point nothing gets done. Because even I wont rally around Goff (nor Crone). So what to do knowing if Hooton was right Labour have already interfered essentially with democracy in Auckland.
  • Moving along we have a bit about Hulse and Simpson. Both are leaders not followers both will bring many skill sets and idea contests to the Governing Body in the new Council term. I am looking forward to Desley on that Governing Body table from 2016.
  • Ralston: if Mike Lee stands again in Waitemata Bill Ralston (standing as a conservative Independent) will have no show against Mike. If Mike steps down and current Waitemata Local Board Chair Shale Chambers runs I predict Ralston winning that one. Now whether Ralston is involved with C&R or Auckland Future is unknown and for me personally I don’t care. If Ralston is elected to the Governing Body we should see some things liven up but I hope Bill doesnt go obstinate as Lee does now.
  • Finally Simon comes to the question of what happens if the Centre Right like Auckland Future do secure the majority around the Governing Body. Well they won’t on current perceptions and analysis. The way Auckland Future has left C&R in the cold (and C&R still commands a lot of resources and fire power from National) and Councillor Denise Krum jumping from C&R to Auckland Future is going to make the election interesting. If the two tickets can get together and work with independents like Calum Penrose then the Council is theirs for the taking.
  • However, my gut tells me the platitudes between C&R and Auckland Future will evaporate and a shooting match breaks out. This will split the Right in favour to the Centre and the Left. Effectively we are going to have wounded Councillors on that Governing Body table who will be very sore but as I see it will rally back around Hulse if she is Deputy Mayor again. Because as I see it Goff and Crone will be caught in the Right crap-fight that is at heightened risk of boiling over. So just as Hulse stood in after Len’s affair blew up in 2013 Hulse again stands in again in 2016. And for extra measure the big two CCO’s (Auckland Transport and Panuku Development Auckland) are more warm to Hulse than the others out there and without those two CCOs onside well you can figure that one out.
  • In real short terms: All roads lead to the Deputy Mayor beyond 2016


So what do you think?

Oh and Metro Magazine is available at all good stockists.


Source: Auckland Council
Source: Auckland Council