In a clear display of support, National MP Paula Bennett has been spotted having lunch with one of the front-runners for the Auckland mayoralty.
She was spotted yesterday with candidate Victoria Crone at Ponsonby's Prego restaurant where she confirmed they'd met to "conspire on a good campaign".
While declaring her strong support for Ms Crone's campaign, the MP stopped short of declaring her presence was an official party endorsement.
"I totally support Vic ... on a personal level and we don't have an official sort of National stance, but I know she's got heaps of support right throughout."
Ms Crone is up against Labour's Phil Goff - who has more than 30 years' political experience on her.
Nevertheless Ms Bennett said the businesswoman was the person to take the city into the future.
"I so just care passionately about the leadership of this great city, I've been wanting someone to believe in and I found someone to believe in."
Ms Crone in turn expressed her gratitude to the MP for her support and guidance.
"To learn a few tricks of the trade from Paula is going to be immensely helpful," she said. "It's fantastic to be able to catch up and as I say get some tips and check in."
Over lunch the pair planned to talk politics and set clear goals and strategies for the mayoral campaign.
Ms Bennett said she'd be backing Ms Crone all the way.
"You've got to back someone and get in behind them. So I'm really keen to help in the campaign sense in any way I can."