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Photo: Getty Images
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AucklandOctober 18, 2016

Tentative ceasefire declared in blood-soaked War for Auckland

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

This can either read as a huge list of thank you notes to those who joined the fight for Auckland’s soul, or if you’re Richard Burton or Mike Lee, a list of enemy collaborators.

The War For Auckland began as a dark kernel of Duncan Greive’s rage.

Our Spinoff Net Tsar spent most of 2016 enduring regular anger-induced mini-strokes over Auckland’s epic housing crisis; the inadequacy of our councillors; the incompetence of Nick Smith. His fury was only engorged by an outpouring of disturbing media reports and the fiery hot takes of his staff.

It all came to a head in July, with the announcement of a military crusade against everyone trying to ruin the city. “It terrifies me and everyone in this office to think of what might happen if the NIMBYs and their allies win this war,” Greive said, before continuing in a similarly chilled-out vein: “If we lose this fight, we might as well all leave”.

That was 12 weeks ago. So should we pack up and go?

Probably not.

A few weeks after our declaration, the Unitary Plan passed with barely a hint of objection, delighting density campaigners and briefly making us wonder why we joined this blood-soaked pitched battle in the first place. The Plan allows more than 400,000 new homes across Auckland in the next 30 years, which should be enough. Now if only Nick Smith could rouse himself from his seat beside a roaring fire in his supervillain’s lair and do any or all of the things listed in this article.


In early October, a new council was elected, and shockingly, it was pretty good.

Highlights included rank liberal Richard Hills’ unlikely win in Murray McCully’s sea-ringed stronghold, the North Shore. Manukau elected Efeso Collins – a candidate whose policies are rivalled only by his campaign jingle.

Penny Hulse retained her stranglehold on the lands and territories west of Mt Albert. Bill Cashmore beat his arch-rival “no-one” to win in Franklin. And Phil Goff defeated his arch-rival Chlöe Swarbrick to become mayor. He should rule with at least a 13-8 margin in most big votes.

Does all this mean we should stand on top of Mt Eden shouting “Auckland is ours!”

The answer is yes.

Does it mean Auckland is fixed?

Unfortunately not.

Nevertheless, it’s time for us to declare an end to all-out hostilities. There’ll still be minor skirmishes in this War. It’s not like Auckland 2040 have somehow rotted away like the legions of the undead. They’re still around, sort-of, possibly, holding up the Unitary Plan.


So are their allies. Mike Lee continues his dogged fight for that great lefty cause of not making Auckland’s richest suburbs accept their share of its growth. Denise Krum, who hired a cherry-picker to scare people about the building heights allowed under the Unitary Plan, was re-elected. So was Sharon Stewart, who lists her greatest achievement as stopping development in Howick. The list goes on.

But we’re not worried about them any more! No. That stuff’s behind us. This War is over. It’s time to make up with our enemies. So peace, Stewart. Truce, Lee. Shalom… Urgh… Richard Burton.

While we’re spewing love into the world, we should direct some toward the people we love most: the ones who give us money. More than 350 brave soldiers gave us nearly $25,000 toward this War. Exactly 73 of all those contributed between $5 and $20. We’ve listed the names of those 73 below out of our own free will and also partly because we promised to do so on PledgeMe. Keep them in your hearts always. And maybe when you next watch the sun setting behind the Harbour Bridge, or enjoy fish and chips on a golden sand beach, or buy a reasonably priced apartment within a four-hour bus ride of the city centre, whisper a little prayer of thanks to those who gave to the War.

Roll of Honour
($5 to $20 Edition)

Elliot CK
Frances Moore
Samantha Dowse
Mario Pinto
Sam Clemerson
Jon Bridges
Lesley Parker
David Yan
Geraint Scott
Josh Borthwick
Will Hine
Chris McIntyre
Alex Ells
Forrest Brownlie
Blake Fairburn
Rebekah Jaung
Tom Barraclough
Graham Surrey
Max Lin
Isabel Kelly
Callum Newson-Brown
Frances Moore
Deb Hancock
Jessie Grace Fenton
Connor Greive
Robin Liang
James Wenley
Duncan Law
Jaclyn Bonnici
Christina Robertson
Sylvie Thrush Marsh
Nick Fenton
Lisa Wong Ravlich
Emerson Howitt
Gavin Ralph
Marine Patten
Sarah Dunn
Tam Irvine
Scott Fletcher
Dylan Kerr
Ngaire Jermaine
Tina Coles
Duncan Croft
Moses Prescott
Anna Lee
Simon Hall
Neha Patel
Daniel Maier-Gant
Rose Rio Rose
Dave Pearce
James Milne
Mike Peebles
Pat Seely
Nick Cross
Caitlin Melhuish
Logan Elliot
Gilaad Amir
David Robinson
Russel James Smith
Simon Lee
Max Rashbrooke
Stephen Hoskins
Josh Forde
Michael Southon
Kat Jenkins
Joseph Corbett-Davies
Max Dillon Coyle
Jack Garden
Matt Sinnock
Max Prestidge

Keep going!