Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Familiar faces likely to linger on

Few changes likely on Auckland Council after October poll, with just one councillor out of 20 definitely quitting.

Michael Goudie, 28, would be missed for his younger perspective if he did decide not to stand. Photo / Richard Robinson
Michael Goudie, 28, would be missed for his younger perspective if he did decide not to stand. Photo / Richard Robinson

There will be few new faces around the Auckland Council chamber after October's local body elections, with most councillors standing for re-election and little sign of strong contenders to oust the incumbents.

Of the 20 councillors, only Franklin's Des Morrison has announced he is stepping down, although Albany councillor Michael Goudie said he was not planning to stand at this point.

At just 28, Mr Goudie is the youngest councillor and would be missed for the perspective he brings to an otherwise ageing council. Several councillors qualify for a Gold Card.

There is a good chance the other three undecided councillors - Communities & Residents leader Christine Fletcher, Alf Filipaina and Sandra Coney - will stand again.

Cameron Brewer is being encouraged by some councillors to put up his hand and challenge Mayor Len Brown as a flagbearer for the right, but the 40-year-old Orakei councillor does not fancy his chances at this stage and is more likely to consider a challenge in 2016.

There is talk of a poll to test support for Mr Brewer.

The failure to find a candidate to challenge Mr Brown - who trounced former Auckland City Mayor John Banks by 65,000 votes in 2010 - is a source of much angst on the right.

Mr Brown's campaign team is confident the mayor is in a strong position as the incumbent and because the barrier to entry is so high.

"Why would anyone want to take eight months out of their life to campaign fulltime across the region against a seasoned campaigner, spend between $500,000 and $1 million against an already well-funded candidate and make the case for a different direction for Auckland when most people are happy with the current direction?" said a campaign spokesman.

The right is hopeful of picking up more seats, particularly north of the harbour bridge where George Wood has been the only councillor to consistently oppose Mr Brown.

In Waitemata, two, possibly three, right-leaning councillors are lining up against Mike Lee for the prized central city seat. Former Auckland City councillor and Waitemata Local Board member Greg Moyle is quitting C&R - "they can't make up their minds about what they are doing" - to stand as an independent. Another Waitemata Local Board member, Rob Thomas, wants to oust Mr Lee and Orakei Local Board member Mark Thomas is weighing up his chances.

Councillors' plan

Seeking re-election
Arthur Anae
Cameron Brewer
Cathy Casey
Ann Hartley
Penny Hulse
Mike Lee
Richard Northey
Calum Penrose
Dick Quax
Noelene Raffills
Sharon Stewart
John Walker
Wayne Walker
Penny Webster
George Wood

Undecided
Sandra Coney
Alf Filipaina
Christine Fletcher
Michael Goudie

Not standing
Des Morrison
Christine Fletcher
Cameron Brewer

- NZ Herald

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