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Phil Goff campaign posters, October 2016
Phil Goff campaign posters, October 2016

AucklandOctober 8, 2016

The War for Auckland is over! Here’s who won what…

Phil Goff campaign posters, October 2016
Phil Goff campaign posters, October 2016

You won’t believe who’s won the Auckland mayoralty race (you will), and all the other outcomes of interest.

And the new Mayor of Auckland is …

They tried, oh how they tried, to sex up the contest. Guyon Espiner called the leadup to Phil Goff’s candidacy announcement “the longest striptease in history”; Hayden Donnell made reference at every opportunity to his (ie Goff’s) “single unshakeable multi-decade-spanning coitus”.

But in truth Aucklanders had probably had their fill of Supercity mayoral sauciness for the millennium, and the solid, reliable, predictable Phil Goff was always going to prevail.

Provisional results give Goff 179,206 votes, or nearly 48% of the total. Vic Crone did better than polling had predicted, finishing second with 105,413. That result is familiar: three years ago, the centre-left Len Brown recorded 164,338 votes against his main rival from the right, John Palino, on 108,928.

Here’s Mayor Goff’s acceptance speech, via RNZ:

Swarbrick and the rest

The surge of the Chloenator and her Swar for Auckland turned out to be more than a flash in the local body pan, and the candidate whose age isn’t really important but she is only 22, came an impressive third, with 26,474 of the vote, despite a campaign resourced by little more than a Sim card and a Buzz Bar.

John Palino finished on 21,398, and the most tragic man in New Zealand, Mark Thomas, on 9,170.

And only 6,577 people recognised that Penny Bright should be in charge.

In Wellington, which is another city in New Zealand, Justin Lester is the new mayor.

Who cares anyway?

Turnout is up a smidgen from last election’s historic low. At this stage, with a touch over 376,000 votes counted, 36.5% of registered voters returned their ballots. At the same stage in 2013, the figure was 34.3%, and the final turnout was 34.7% – a drop of more than 15% from 2010.

Would it have been higher if Goff wasn’t seen as such a clear favourite? Maybe. But it’s a pretty serious problem.

And the ones that really matter …

The new Auckland Council will comprise Phil Goff and the following:

Albert-Eden-Roskill: Cathy Casey and Christine Fletcher.

Albany: John Watson and Wayne Walker.

Franklin: Bill Cashmore (Big Bill the Boss of Franklin elected unopposed).

Howick: Sharon Stewart and Dick Quax.

Manukau: Alf Filipaina and Fa’anana Efeso Collins.

Manurewa-Papakura: Daniel Newman, John Walker (Calum Penrose unexpectedly jettisoned by voters).

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki: Denise Krum.

North Shore: Chris Darby and, get this, Richard Hills or Grant Gillon (Too close to call at this stage – Hills and Gillon will be permanently mopping sweat until the final result, specials included, are published on Thursday).

Orākei: Desley Simpson (by a huge margin).

Rodney: Greg Sayers (incumbent Penny Webster a surprise loss here).

Waitākere: Penny Hulse and Linda Cooper.

Waitematā and Gulf: Mike Lee (the polarising political veteran wins by a small margin over the polarising media veteran Bill Ralston).

Whau: Ross Clow.

What does all that mean?

Hard to say exactly. Assuming Hills holds on, it means the 20 councillors’ tickets break down as follows:

Auckland Future (rightish): 1

City Vision (leftish): 1

Communities & Residents (rightish): 2

Labour (leftish): 3

Independent or ward-specific ticket: 13

As for the local boards, again far the most are independent, unaligned or under ward-specific banners – 94 of them. Labour has 26, Communities & Residents 11, City Vision 9, and Auckland Future 6.

And as far as the Spinoff’s War for Auckland endorsed council candidates (some endorsed with heavy hearts, pegs on noses, mind you):

People who became councillors probably because they were endorsed by Spinoff website: 13 (plus Goff)

People who somehow became councillors despite not being endorsed by Spinoff website: 7

What does Leroy Beckett of youth rabble Generation Zero make of it all?

“Overall this new council based on our scores averages to a B,” he said in a message that actually began “Haha from the pub”. He continued: “We are thrilled to see candidates we scored A+ Richard Hills and Efeso Collins join council, as well as a number of great current councillors return. Young candidates did incredibly well, from Chloe Swarbrick coming third against better financed candidates, to Adrianna Christie jointing the Waitemata Local Board. There hasn’t been a big shift , a face lift without any real change, shows Aucklanders are overall happy with the progress we have made over the past three years.”

Meanwhile …

A recording has emerged showing a man who could  become the president of the United States boasting about sexually harassing women.

Nb This has nothing to do with the Auckland local body election but FFS is the world even real any more?

And now …

For the new mayor and new council to show whether they’re up to the task of building a future worthy of Aucklanders, for a deputy mayor to be appointed (Penny Hulse again? Bill Cashmore? Even Desley Simpson?) And the small matter of a byelection in Mt Roskill.

Keep going!