We are less than three months out from Auckland’s 2022 mayoral election on 8 October, which, following Phil Goff’s retirement, means a change in leadership for the Auckland City Council.
Whether you care about affordable and efficient public transport so you can get into uni, making Queen street more pedestrian friendly, or narrowly avoiding getting hit by a bus on your bike without cycleways, Council leadreship will affect all students.
To help you differentiate between the middle-aged white men campaigning for the job, Craccum has put together a guide to the nine candidates who want to be Auckland’s next mayor.
Leo Molloy, the Self-Proclaimed “Cunt”
Who they are: Former businessman Leo Molloy is notorious for stirring up controversy with his tendentious proclamations and antagonistic disposition. He distinguishes himself from other contenders as “the only non-career politician” candidate (uh, fact check).
What they stand for: Molloy hopes to address the “reckless spending” and “sneaky politics” that he says have infiltrated the Auckland Council. Despite his undoubtedly confrontational political history, he contends the media portrayal of him is overly-negative, and that his brazen demeanour should not overshadow his policy aims.
Main policy goals: Reducing the cost of living, increasing the council’s spending accountability, decreasing Auckland’s debt.
Molloy’s main policy goals are outlined on his website under ‘Auckland’s Comeback Plan’.
Who they are: The first ever AUSA President of Pacific descent Efeso Collins is upgrading by rooting to be the first ever Auckland Mayor of Pacific descent. He’s also the first candidate to have cross party backing from Labour and Greens. Clearly supported by the Pasifika community, Collins is also the only candidate with an (unofficial) jingle, written by Church Boiiz dubbing him “Chief of Auckland… Efes-O-bama.”
What they stand for: Aside from his call to make public transport free, Collins has yet to make specific policy announcements, citing the importance of listening to community voices to best gauge Auckland’s needs. He says his core values are truth, love, and integrity.
Main policy goals: Free public transport, ensuring climate-conscious decision-making, supporting community interests.
Collin’s unofficial campaign song and more info on his campaign can be found on Instagram @efesoformayor.
Viv ‘Business’ Beck
Who they are: CEO of Heart of the City, Auckland’s city centre business association, and currently the only female candidate, Viv Beck is a centre-right wing candidate who is said to be unofficially endorsed by the National Party.
What they stand for: If elected, Beck has bold transport plans for the city, including $110 million in upgrades to the Northern Busway and ramping up bus lanes on the light rail route from the CBD to the airport.
Main policy goals: Cancelling the Auckland light-rail project, greater inner-city police visibility, scrapping the regional fuel tax.
Beck’s Transport policy is on the website Greater Auckland.
Wayne Brown, “The Fixer”
Who they are: Auckland businessman and former Far North mayor Wayne Brown, who calls himself “the fixer” is running for mayor for a second time. He says he hopes to use his previous experience as mayor to resolve the Council’s spending problem.
What they stand for: Brown wants to rid the council of “dopey” projects, which he says absorb rate-payer money.
Main policy goals: wage war on (council spending) waste, tidying up the city-centre, improving the council’s efficiency
Brown’s policies are listed on his website fixauckland.co.nz.
Craig Lord, the “Regular Guy”
Who they are: Returning mayoral candidate Craig Lord is a former engineer, Newstalk ZB fill-in host, and newly qualified marriage celebrant. He pitches himself as “not a politician or a corporate bureaucrat” but just a “regular guy.”
What they stand for: Lord believes a mayor should represent the people and their interests, unlike “career politicians.” He is tired of seeing “unacceptable and frivolous spending,” going after the Squid Game-style ‘Boy Walking’ sculpture in Potters Park. He has described his campaign as being “focused on necessities over niceties.”
Main policy goals: budget cuts including cycleways and “million-dollar footpaths”, addressing city congestion and waste management, improving council transparency.
Lord’s ‘Auckland Growth Plan’ is on his website craiglord.nz where you can also watch his “rant” videos (except for the ones that were taken down).
Ted ‘Pinocchio’ Johnston
Who they are: Lawyer and second-time mayoral candidate Ted Johnston is also the co-leader of the New Conservatives, the minor political party that says they want New Zealand to be the best place for “all of us” to live. He believes himself to be a “strong, qualified, wise, and skilled” leader and not a “puppet.”
What they stand for: Johnston wants to change the Council’s plan to resolve inner-city congestion, and scrap the $2 billion cycleway as opposed to banning cars on Queen Street. He also wants to paint the Harbour bridge blue for some reason; which is all part of his aim to address council “mismanagement.”
Main policy goals: tackling crime rates, attracting more tourism with Harbour Bridge, addressing poverty.
Gary “Fresh” Brown
Who they are: Chairman of Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, Gary Brown describes himself as “pro-business, eco-friendly, and future-focused.” He describes his mayoral campaign as a response to the need for “some fresh energy, a fresh vision, and some good old common-sense.”
What they stand for: Brown believes that the Council’s failures are the result of a lack of framework through which aspiring projects can succeed. He feels it is important to involve Aucklanders in decision-making about their own city’s future.
Main policy goals: Collaborating with community members, revising current council policies, building more community facilities.
Brown’s “Fresh vision” can be found on his website.
John “The Only Candidate” Lehmann
Who they are: Independent candidate John Lehmann says he is tired of the “steady decline” of Auckland’s city due to congestion, crime rates and poor council decision-making. According to his Facebook ramblings, he is the only candidate who can achieve success as mayor. “Still no plan, or vision from the others. Only me.”
What they stand for: Lehmann says that the Council should prioritise the community over ineffective bureaucratic systems. He says his goal is for Auckland to become “safe, liveable, and affordable.” If elected, Lehmann has declared he will donate two-thirds of his salary to charity.
Main policy goals: ensuring a zero-rate rise, free buses, revisiting the Auckland Unitary Plan.
You might be able to learn more about Lehmann’s vision through his Facebook page ‘John Lehmann for Mayor 2022’ or at least about his one-sided beef with Former National MP Paula Bennet.
Michael Morris, the Animal Lover
Who they are: Former Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland and vegan animal rights activist Dr. Michael Morris is adding ‘mayoral candidacy’ to his several noteworthy achievements. He markets himself as the only candidate representing the millions of animals killed in New Zealand every year.
What they stand for: Morris wants to use his platform to support the values of Animal Justice Auckland: “justice for animals, justice for the environment, justice for humans.” He says his campaign is just the start of his journey to raise awareness for environmental issues.
Main policy goals: Making Auckland more eco-friendly, free and improved public transport, working towards a sustainable community-friendly city.
Morris’ outline his platform in an opinion piece in the NZ Herald: A revitalised city for animals, justice and environment.