Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Stephen Berry pulls out of Auckland mayoral race

Stephen Berry believes John Palino 's policy positions make his own candidacy unnecessary for this election cycle. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Stephen Berry believes John Palino 's policy positions make his own candidacy unnecessary for this election cycle. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Right-winger Stephen Berry has pulled out of the Auckland mayoral contest at October's local body elections and endorsed centre-right candidate John Palino.

In a statement issued today, Mr Berry said when he announced in April 2015 he would run for the mayoralty, he said he would stay in the race as long as there was not another candidate with similar policies who stood a better chance of winning.

"Initially, when John Palino announced he would stand for the mayoralty again, I was sceptical of the benefits of yet another candidate splitting the centre-right vote and allowing Phil Goff to sleepwalk to victory.

"Unlike some other centre-right candidates, John has not been slow to offer solutions to the issues facing Auckland. His proposal to cut rates by 10 per cent over three years is a great starting point in the conversation about the role Auckland Council has assumed.

"John's call to abolish the Metropolitan Urban Limit mirrors my own proposals to increase housing supply, while his plan to create development hubs outside of the central city revolutionises the usual tired central planning mantra."

Mr Berry said he believed Mr Palino's policy positions make his own candidacy unnecessary for this election cycle.

"That's why I am now endorsing John Palino to be the next Mayor of Auckland."

Mr Berry was the Affordable Auckland candidate for Mayor in 2013 where he finished third behind Mr Palino, taking nearly 4 per cent of the vote.

Voters currently have three centre-right candidates to choose from -- Mr Palino, businesswoman Vic Crone and Orakei Local Board member Mark Thomas.

Mr Palino said he had been speaking with Mr Berry and was glad he was throwing his support behind him.

Asked about the centre-right being cluttered, Mr Palino said it made things difficult "but at the end of the day it is a democracy".

Labour MP Phil Goff is the leading candidate on the centre left. Other candidates include former Green Party member David Hay, activist Penny Bright and lawyer Adam Holland.

- NZ Herald

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