Leo Molloy-endorsed candidate, Wayne Brown, the 76-year-old former Far North mayor has been elected mayor of Tāmaki Makaurau, beating out the Labour and Green endorsed Efeso Collins by 50,000 votes and counting.
In his victory speech, Brown said that he was “proud to succeed as an independent candidate not endorsed by anyone” (sorry Leo). He also promised to make Auckland great again—sorry, ‘fix Auckland’.
“Under my leadership, Auckland will make clear what our region wants and needs without any so-called ‘help’ setting our priorities from central-government politicians and bureaucrats in Wellington.”
But the real winner of this year’s local body elections was our ineffective voting system. Across the country, only 36% of those eligible voted, promoting Local Government NZ, Te Kahui Kaunihera ō Aotearoa, to call for an independent review of the voting system to improve participation across the country.
Green Party electoral reform spokesperson, Golriz Ghahraman, said in a statement that the Electoral Commission should be responsible for running elections.
“I have been horrified by the stories this week about people not getting their voting papers in the mail and others being told incorrectly that they cannot vote. It is one of the effects of previous governments designing a system that has handed over the job of running elections to councils themselves, who more often than not contract the job to private companies.”
“The Electoral Commission have experience running nationwide elections and get out the vote campaigns and are focused on the public interest and not private profit.”
National Party leader Christopher Luxon has also supported calls to improve voter engagement.
“I think postal votes are something that we’ve got to ask some serious questions about.”