Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Councillors facing the challenge to make it work

Sandra Coney. Photo / Martin Sykes
Sandra Coney. Photo / Martin Sykes

A vow to work together for the good of the region under new Mayor Len Brown has been made by the 20 successful candidates for the new Auckland Council.

Successful candidates talked today about a great challenge facing them to make the Super City work.

As the youngest member of the new council, 25-year-old Michael Goudie from Albany Ward said: "I will have to step my game up. It will be head down and bum up."

Mr Goudie polled highest in Albany with 8538 votes after just a three-year term on Rodney District Council, which he said was an apprenticeship in local government.

"It played in my benefit - there were so many [19] candidates for Albany because the vote was split," he said.

"But I've just been a quiet worker on council, keeping my community informed.

"I ran a different campaign, without promises. [It was] just this is who I am; do you think I can make decisions on your behalf?"

The other Albany Ward representative will be fellow Rodney councillor Wayne Walker.

"We have to make it work," he said. "If there are some things that don't work so well, that may be not the fault of the council itself, it may be the legislation that set it up. I'd hope the Government can do some "tweaking" because you are not going to get it right the first time round."

A feature of the Albany election campaign - a long-running verbal battle between North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams and Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater - in the end did no one any favours.

Mr Williams polled 4429 votes compared with Mr Slater's first-time campaign effort of 1186.

The mainly rural Rodney Ward went to sitting Rodney Mayor Penny Webster despite a strong effort by Auckland Regional Council member Christine Rose.

"Rodney went into the Super City kicking and screaming and I'm glad people have faith in what I can do, " said Mrs Webster.

"It will be a council who will work together for the betterment of the region."

North Shore Ward will be represented by two former North Shore mayors, Ann Hartley and George Wood.

Mrs Hartley, who is also a former Labour MP, said she was pleased at Len Brown's election for Mayor.

"Overall, the new council will be a group who will pull together."

Mr Wood, who led North Shore for a record nine years before losing to Mr Williams in 2007, said: "I'm chuffed that I'm involved with the Super City for which I was a strong advocate."

As a Citizens & Ratepayers North Shore ticket member he said he was disappointed at the losses of some of the ticket's candidates on the other side of the Harbour Bridge.

"But you've got to play the hand you've been dealt and I will be working to keep down rates and improve the social welfare of the people of the region."

Christine Rankin, Families Commissioner and Auckland Regional Councillor, polled fourth highest just behind former MP Grant Gillon.

In the Waitakere Ward, deputy mayor of Waitakere City Penny Hulse and Auckland Regional Council parks chairman Sandra Coney were successful.

Mrs Hulse was an opponent of the Super City on the grounds that communities would suffer loss of identity but said yesterday the time for negativity was over.

"Len Brown has a clear mandate and the hard work lies ahead. I'm looking forward to it."

Ms Coney said the new council would have a wide spectrum of political viewpoints.

"It's Len Brown's job to pull it together. His win is a good result because there was a risk of a lean and mean council not sufficiently taking into account the social welfare of Aucklanders, which is what I'm interested in."

Ms Coney's leader on the ARC, Mike Lee, will represent the Waitemata & Gulf Ward.

He said he was humbled at the strong support shown for him in the territory which has been dubbed the "capital of Auckland".

It was an endorsement of his work over six years as ARC leader and focus on commuter rail, preservation of Queens Wharf sheds, the Wynyard Wharf development and conservation work in the Hauraki Gulf.

First-time-up candidate Cameron Brewer will represent the Orakei Ward after comfortably defeating city council finance chairman Doug Armstrong.

"Over half of those who voted in Orakei voted for an independent representative and that's what I must remain," said the 37-year-old chief executive of the Newmarket Business Association.

He congratulated Mr Brown and thanked Mayor John Banks "for all that he has done for Auckland".

In the Whau Ward, Auckland City Councillor Noelene Raffills held off a strong challenge from Waitakere City finance chairman Ross Clow.

"I'm humbled because a lot of people in the Whau Ward used to be part of Waitakere City and they have given me a tick of confidence and it is special to be involved in the first council to be region-wide.

"Len Brown's majority is clear, which is good, and I want to be part of a council working together."

Twelve-year veteran Auckland City councillor Richard Northey fought off a strong challenge by C&R candidate Alfred Ngaro for the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Ward. High-profile theatre personality Simon Prast was a distant third.

"The result reflects my work and the hard and energetic Labour campaign we have run here," said Mr Northey.

"It will be great challenge to get the Super City to work in the interests of the region.

"C&R will be disappointed with the way its leading lights were defeated.

"But the result is a mixed, balanced council with good people who I know and I'm looking forward to it."

Former Auckland Mayor Chris Fletcher returns to local body politics in the Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward with Dr Cathy Casey.

"If we get a centre-left council, we will have a superb city because we will make it work across the region," said Dr Casey, who has been an Auckland City councillor for six years.

"I want an inclusive city where no one is left out."

Manukau City councillors Alf Filipaina and Arthur Anae will represent the Manukau Ward.

"I give Len Brown my total and ultimate support in how we're going to put this city together," said Mr Anae.

"We have to understand each other and start working towards what we need to have in this city."

Successful Howick Ward candidates were Sharon Stewart and Jami-Lee Ross.

Mrs Stewart said her stomach was churned up at the thought of her fifth term as a councillor being on the super council.

"I thought, what have I let myself in for? I'm absolutely excited about it."

It will be a third term as a councillor for Mr Ross.

"We are experienced people on this council and want to make the region the best it can be."

He said he was sorry for his good friend and fellow Manukau City councillor Dick Quax, who missed out by just over 300 votes.

Manurewa-Papakura will be represented by Papakura Mayor Calum Penrose and Sir John Walker, who is a Manukau City councillor.

Former Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis missed out on adding Super City council pioneer to a list of achievements that includes over 39 years of local government service.

Franklin Ward was won by district councillor Des Morrison, from Auckland Regional councillor Dianne Glenn.

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