Election results: Auckland Super City Wards

By Wayne Thompson, Isaac Davison

Some of Greater Auckland's very experienced local politicians are toppled by relatively new kids on the block in the inaugural Super City ward elections.

Michael Goudie. Photo / Richard Robinson.
Michael Goudie. Photo / Richard Robinson.

ALBANY

In:
9121 - Michael Goudie
8473 - Wayne Walker

Michael Goudie arrives for a photo shoot on a skateboard, at Red Beach, about two minutes from his home.

It's not a gimmick. It's what the Orewa 25-year-old does on a day off from being a builder and a Rodney District Council member.

His eyes shine with enthusiasm for his new job, representing 137,000 residents from Browns Bay to Waiwera on the Auckland Council.

"I'm so stoked at the result I'm still trying to grapple with it.

"My three years on Rodney council have been like an apprenticeship in local government and it's taught me new perspectives.

"But I'm so looking forward to it. I will have to step my game up."

In four months of door knocking and meetings throughout the new Albany ward, it was "the young guy" who made a strong impression.

Even fellow candidates remarked at his "passion" for the ward, which has most of the region's growth hot spots such as Orewa, Hatfields Beach, Waiwera, Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Silverdale, East Coast Bays, Albany central, Greenhithe, Hobsonville and West Harbour.

Mr Goudie topped the poll of 19 candidates with 9121 votes, beating some big political hitters including North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams and Deputy Mayor Julia Parfitt and Rodney Deputy Mayor John Kirikiri.

He will share the ward's workload with Wayne Walker, a Rodney councillor with 10 years' experience.

Mr Goudie says his style is "just being a quiet worker, keeping my community informed".

His election campaign deliberately left out promises, "just offering to fight for what the people want".

- Wayne Thompson

* * *

ORAKEI

In:
18,030 - Cameron Brewer

Missed out:
10,983 - Doug Armstrong

Cameron Brewer is branching out from five years' focus on promoting Newmarket as a fashion shopping centre to become an advocate for the advance and welfare of Auckland.

In his first attempt at a publicly elected role - for the Orakei ward of Auckland Council - won 18,030 votes and easily he defeated city council finance chairman Doug Armstrong, a C&R stalwart.

"Over half of those who voted in Orakei voted for an independent representative and that's what I must remain," Mr Brewer said.

He intends to stay for at least three terms.

"With my work for Newmarket Business Association, my profile was on the eastern side of town and there was a call for some fresh faces, so I went for Orakei."

The 37-year-old is typically confident of overcoming a dearth of experience as an elected official around a council table where veterans will deal the cards.

"I've been around politics for 15 years."

A former student president, he was in the National Party's research unit until 1999, when he transferred to Prime Minister Jenny Shipley's office as a junior press secretary.

In 2001, he moved from Wellington to join an Auckland public relations consultancy but after 12 months was hired by Mayor John Banks as his press secretary.

Mr Brewer moved out of the Town Hall and back to Parliament when Dick Hubbard became mayor.

The new council's task, he said, was building the infrastructure required for an Auckland of two million people by 2031.

- Wayne Thompson

* * *

MANUREWA PAPAKURA

In:
20,739 - Sir John Walker
17,058 - Calum Penrose

Missed out:
16,380 Sir Barry Curtis

After a fleeting return to local politics failed to reap Sir Barry Curtis a place in the Super City, he has confirmed his retirement - for good this time.

Sir Barry's decision to run for a Super City seat in the Manurewa-Papakura ward was one of the biggest surprises of the local election.

The 71-year-old wanted to lend his experience in regional planning and economic growth to the new council because "all eyes were on Auckland and it could not fail".

But against another knight, Sir John Walker, and Papakura Mayor Calum Penrose, Sir Barry missed one of the ward's two seats by about 900 votes.

Mr Penrose, who ran under the Manurewa-Papakura First Action ticket, has gained a strong following in his first term as mayor, on the back of a grassroots approach that has seen him patrol Papakura's streets with police to address the district's crime problems.

He said he would have to adapt to his larger responsibility - he will represent 120,000 residents instead of 44,000 - and catch up on regional planning and infrastructure policy.

Sir John collected nearly 4000 more votes than Mayor Penrose.

The Manukau City councillor's Field of Dreams programme, which encourages Manukau children into sports, has proved a huge success and he aims to roll it out Auckland-wide, for which he has the backing of new mayor Len Brown.

- Isaac Davison

* * *

HOWICK

In:
23,503 - Sharon Stewart
19,139 - Jami-Lee Ross

Missed out:
18,898 Dick Quax

The highest-profile name in Howick will not have a seat in the Super City after being pipped in the election by his younger colleague.

Manukau City councillor Dick Quax, 62, a former Olympian, lost out to fellow Citizens and Ratepayers member Jami-Lee Ross by just 240 votes.

Mr Ross, who at 24 is the youngest face in the new council, said he was disappointed for his good friend.

"We worked very hard together and became very close over the last six months. It's sad he hasn't made it."

It will be a third term as a councillor for Mr Ross, who will represent Howick with the highest-polling candidate, Sharon Stewart.

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

"I thought, 'What have I let myself in for?' [But] I'm absolutely excited about it," she said.

The four-term Manukau City councillor said she felt that the public opted for an independent ahead of the fragmented C&R brand.

- Isaac Davison

* * *

NORTH SHORE

In:
14,780 - George Wood
13,491 - Ann Hartley

George Wood is back. "Being on the Auckland Council is a great result - the best victory I've had in local body politics," says the man who was North Shore Mayor for a record nine years until 2007.

Since then, the former senior policeman has found it hard to sit on the sidelines during a traumatic period in North Shore affairs, when his successor Andrew Williams struggled with the Super City concept and the revelations of right-wing critics.

When the Royal Commission into Auckland Governance came to hear public views, Mr Wood presented a joint submission and won the commissioners' praise for its quality.

For his comeback, he joined a new North Shore division of the Citizens & Ratepayers ticket from the other side of the Harbour Bridge.

The 64-year-old said his poll victory with former North Shore Mayor and Labour MP Ann Hartley was not only satisfying but also just.

"I'm a regional player, always been. I was in the vanguard of getting this change to the Super City and now I can get in there and make sure they get everything right."

His interest will be keeping rates as low as possible.

- Wayne Thompson

* * *

WAITEMATA AND GULF

In:
11,225 - Mike Lee

Missed out:

5298 - Alex Swney
3319 - Tenby Powell

Alex Swney may have fought his last political battle after his exhaustive campaign ended with a "disheartening" walloping in the prized ward of Waitemata and Gulf.

Mr Swney bolstered his high profile as Heart of the City chief by door-knocking 3500 homes and enlisting artist Dick Frizzell to touch up his billboards.

But Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee won more than double Mr Swney's tally, winning the ward's sole seat by almost 6000 votes.

"We just did not see it coming," said a clearly exasperated Mr Swney. His personal polling had placed him within a breath of Mr Lee.

"Mike had been missing in action during the campaign and he came through with that. I've got to doff my hat to the guy."

He returns to his Heart of the City office today, and says he does not have much appetite left for politics.

"It's a fool who never says never. But for now, I sure don't feel like it."

He has unsuccessfully stood for the Auckland City mayoralty (2007), the Auckland City Council, the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust and for Act in Tamaki in 1996.

The Waitemata and Gulf ward is traditionally left-leaning. After the shock victory for the National Party's Nikki Kaye in the general election, the central city has returned to its red roots.

As well as the election of City Vision-endorsed Mr Lee, five out of seven members on the local board are City Vision members.

Mr Lee believed he had been elected on the strength of the ARC's "long list of achievements" - purchasing regional parks, opening up Queens Wharf, and expanding rail.

He said his first priority would be securing rail to the airport. "There is no reason why this cannot be done at the same time as the CBD rail loop."

Mr Swney's right-leaning vote was split by rich-lister Tenby Powell, who picked up 3300 votes. Candidates also had to contend with the youthful enthusiasm of Rob Thomas, who won 2800 votes and a consolation spot on the local board.

- Isaac Davison

* * *

ALBERT-EDEN-ROSKILL

In:
20,543 - Christine Fletcher
14,877 - Cathy Casey

Christine Fletcher says her election to the Auckland Council is a chance to extend her work for the Britomart transport centre during a term as the city's mayor.

Since losing to John Banks in 2001, she has poured her energy into the restoration of Motutapu Island and working for community groups, particularly in mental health and Special Olympics.

"I'm driven by the issues rather than the politics - it's getting things done," said Mrs Fletcher, who will represent the Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward with sitting city councillor Dr Cathy Casey.

"I want to take Britomart to the next stage to see the CBD rail loop to double the capacity of Britomart.

"I'm delighted to see a consensus across the political spectrum [of the new council] on that."

Before winning the mayoralty, she was an MP for nine years.

"In my parliamentary years I resigned as a minister to put myself on the back bench.

"I wanted to save the assets of the Auckland Regional Services Trust and as a member of the Executive, you cannot cross the floor.

"But without that nest egg, including the Ports of Auckland assets, we would not have been able to buy back the rail corridors and would not have been able to do the CBD loop."

Mrs Fletcher recalled the ambitious goals for Auckland set out in her "First City of the Pacific" blueprint: "We are a small country and we can only do one project, well, at a time."

- Wayne Thompson

- NZ Herald

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