John Bensch Independent
Graham Lowe Auckland Future
Wayne Walker Putting People First
John Watson Putting People First
Lisa Whyte Auckland Future
Click below to see the Spinoff endorsements
A blue S denotes a coveted Spinoff endorsement; a grey S = a capable candidate who didn’t quite make the cut. Click here for our general backgrounder.
This was almost an impossible choice for The Spinoff Editorial Board. Even the better candidates offer little more than a faint hope they won’t actively work to destroy Auckland. But as Sherlock Holmes once said: eliminate the impossible, and whatever remains, no matter how uninspiring, must be the candidate you endorse for Auckland Council.
Graeme Lowe leads the impossibles. The former league coach looks likely to be elected on name recognition alone despite doing almost nothing to suggest he’s qualified for the job. We’re happy to be proved wrong, but we really doubt there’s much crossover between coaching the Maroons and deciding on a responsible wastewater plan.
Wayne Walker has a mostly solid policy platform, despite once arguing that urban density makes housing more expensive. Unfortunately he’s prone to driving his colleagues, and particularly soon-to-be-former mayor Len Brown, to the edge of sanity with lengthy, haranguing “questions” in council debates.
Two other candidates are not really in the running.
That leaves John Watson and Lisa Whyte.
Watson is the same as Walker, except 80% less infuriating. That means you get all the passable public transport policy, but with 100% fewer councillors wishing for death when he speaks.
Lisa Whyte was reasonably competent and well-liked during her stint on North Shore City Council. She supports the idiotic Penlink roading project – though all of these candidates do – and is weaker on housing density and climate change than we would have liked, but she’s better than the alternatives.
May God have mercy on the people of Albany.