Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

Vic Crone defeated in quest for Auckland Super City mayoralty

Vic Crone has hinted at another stint at the Auckland mayoralty race.

The former Xero managing director has finished second in the race behind winner Phil Goff.

Speaking at an end-of-campaign function at The Cav in Ponsonby, Crone told the Herald she was going through "a real mix of emotions".

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"There's obviously disappointment at not getting there but also some satisfaction that we've come a long way in nine months, and so the campaign has been incredibly rewarding and very challenging but overall it's just been a pleasure."

She said her vote tally would be a "great base if I did want to have another go".

She said the biggest challenge she had to overcome throughout her campaign was her low profile.

"It's name recognition, that's the biggest one in terms of people not knowing who I am and what I do, that's the dynamic of local body politics.

"One of the reasons I stood was partly to upset that a little bit, and actually we shouldn't just pick somebody because we know their name."

Crone will be keeping a close eye on the performance of her successful rival.

"Congratulations to Phil... he's made some pretty big promises so I'll be making sure that he delivers."

She consistently trailed Goff by large margins in polls throughout, and despite the backing of the National Party she was unable to convince Aucklanders that she was the right person to lead the Super City.

Her efforts were not helped by the presence of fellow centre-right candidates John Palino and Mark Thomas splitting the vote.

Her attempt to beat Goff began in controversial circumstances when she found herself in hot water for erecting billboards months before election signs were allowed to go up.

At her campaign launch function attended by National Party cabinet ministers and MPs, former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and Crone's former boss Xero chief executive Rod Drury, Crone said she would fast-track a second harbour crossing with provision for rapid transit.

She accused Goff of making unfunded promises and "injecting a bloody bomb" under council, and promised to bring forward six key transport projects.

In her first major policy announcement Crone promised to hold annual rates increases at 2 per cent, saying rates increases over the past three years had been out of whack with other market prices.

She was opposed to introducing a living wage for council staff, and announced her intention to take a tough line with the council's business units and council-controlled organisations, saying they were "a law unto themselves".

Crone's policy was developed in conjunction with the right-leaning Auckland Future political ticket.

On the issue of a lack of affordable housing, Crone said linking social housing developers to investors like philanthropists and pension funds would boost affordability.

She also wanted to establish a mayor's taskforce for housing to speed up the city's shortage.

A gaffe occured when Crone refused to be drawn on whether she believed in man-made climate change, calling it a "contentious debate".

She later clarified her position, saying she "actually does believe in climate change and that humans are contributing to it".

- NZ Herald

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