The Green Party is buoyant following local body election results in Auckland and Wellington, sensing its wishes for better public transport are about to get a boost.
Victorious Auckland super city Mayor Len Brown campaigned on improving public transport, including extending the city's rail network. In Wellington, incumbent Mayor Kerry Prendergast is in a neck-and-neck race against Green Party member Celia Wade-Brown, with the result in limbo until special votes have been counted.
Mr Brown is left-leaning politically and easily accounted for his main rival, National Party supporter John Banks, while other results nationwide indicate a swing to the left.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said that swing indicated a clear vote from New Zealanders for better buses and trains, and better walking and cycling infrastructure.
"Ms Wade-Brown opposes the Government's planned Wellington northern corridor expressway, also known as Transmission Gully, and ran on a platform of sustainable transport solutions for Wellington," Dr Norman said.
"Progressive victories across the country demonstrate that kiwis understand the economic and environmental challenges we face, and they are ready for a sustainable transport system."
Greens transport spokesman Gareth Hughes said the party's petition to fast-track the Auckland central business district's rail loop was gaining support, and that Aucklanders were sending a clear message about buses and trains, while active transport spokesman Kevin Hague noted a number of cycling advocates had been elected to councils nationwide.
Prime Minister John Key said this morning he did not consider there was a big correlation between what happened in local politics and what happened nationally.
"Sure, the left wing will try and argue that case, but it's actually not correct - in fact under Helen Clark's reign we saw John Banks voted in and voted out."