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Local body elections heating up

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Local body elections heating up
WILLIE JACKSON 

The race for the Auckland mayoralty and also council seats are heating up as the October polling day draws nearer and major political parties start infiltrating their members to these boards.

Those standing have been confirmed and for the main players - and their army of loyal lieutenants - that starts the next two months of door knocking, poster and billboard planting, letter box drops and hand shakes as well as apearances at the opening of an envelope or any community event where they can be noticed.

The full list of candidates was published last week (eds August 17), so it’s now game on.

What I noticed when I scrolled through the South Auckland local body candidates was the number of Maori Party, Greens Party and Labour Party supporters who have been put forward.

Those seats will be hotley contested. And so too will the race for Auckland’s mayoralty, which will be a two horse race.

Ironically, twelve months ago when Phil Goff announced he would be standing for the Auckland mayoralty being vacated by Len Brown, had they taken a vote then, the Labour MP would have won by a country mile.

Goff is still the leading candidate and providing there’s not a major fall from grace he should win.

But you can’t underestimate the National machine, who is behind Victoria Crone.

Looking at the full list of mayoral candidates, you will note there are few people with profile, including, Mario Alupis, Aileen Austin, Penny Bright, Patrick Brown, Tricia Cheel, David Hay, Alezix Heneti, Adam Holland, Stan Martin, Binh Thanh Nguyen, Phil O'Connor, John Palino, Tyrone Raumati, Chloe Swarbrick, Mark Thomas, Wayne Young.

I suppose at the end of the election, their claim to fame will be that they had a go, so you can’t knock them for that, but most are really just taking up space on the electoral ballot paper.

I believe Goff is the right man to lead the country’s biggest and fastest growing city. He is well liked by all parties in parliament and knows what is needed to get local and national politics working as a team.

With 21 local boards in Auckland, and a resident population of around 1.4 million, the super city needs a leader who can do the business, locally, nationally and internationally.

Maori make up around 10% of the Auckland population, which is why it is pleasing to see a number of Maori running for local body. That list includes Rangi Maclean out south and David Rankin out west.

Myself and John Tamihere are also entering the race to be on Auckland Counci’s Independent Maori Statutory Board.

The IMSB has an important part to play in the growth of Auckland and we must be part of the process.

 

 

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