Bernard Orsman 's Opinion

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Bernard Orsman: A cautious second term for Brown

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Re-elected Auckland Mayor Len Brown at the Kinglander Bar in Auckland, where he celebrated his win with family and friends. Photo / Greg Bowker
Re-elected Auckland Mayor Len Brown at the Kinglander Bar in Auckland, where he celebrated his win with family and friends. Photo / Greg Bowker

Len Brown has won a second term as Mayor of the Super City but got a bloodied nose in the process.

Brown secured a solid 47.5 per cent of the vote, but the 31.6 per cent of the vote for his right wing opponent John Palino signals real concerns about his management of the city.

Palino, for all his political inexperience and makeshift campaign, did almost as well in percentage terms as the political heavyweight John Banks in 2010.

It was a courageous fight from the political novice, who threw about $150,000 of mostly his own money at an impossible cause.

It also says a lot about the disarray of centre-right politics in Auckland.

At a party celebration in Kingsland, Brown acknowledged the "messaging" that came through in the campaign by stating the first focus of his second term would be setting next year's budget.

This was an admission that soaring debt, hefty rate increases and executive salaries need to be addressed.

Luckily for Brown he has dodged a bullet with the new make-up of the council, which is made to order for his pragmatic streak and canny ability to get the numbers around the table.

Two of the mayor's lieutenants and former Labour MPs Richard Northey and Ann Hartley lost their seats.

Northey fell to the right-leaning Communities & Residents candidate Denise Krum in the Maungakiekie- Tamaki ward, while Hartley was a victim of a lottery in the North Shore ward.

Her seat went to the progressive and energetic Chris Darby.

Conservative Albany did Brown a huge favour by re-electing greenie Wayne Walker and his running mate John Watson. In Waitakere, deputy mayor Penny Hulse got a huge mandate and Linda Cooper as the second ward candidate. As one Brown supporter said, the right-leaning Cooper, who Hulse backed, was preferable to the left wing Christine Rose, who came third.

That's the Auckland Council.

An unusual mix of political allegiances.

One ready made for a second, more financially cautious Brown term.

- NZ Herald

Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Super City reporter Bernard Orsman has been covering local government issues in Auckland since 1998. He covered the Auckland City Council beat through the Christine Fletcher, John Banks and Dick Hubbard terms before turning his attention to the creation of the Super City. Bernard was previously based in the Press Gallery at Parliament for nearly six years. He joined the Herald in 1990 after a stint on New Zealand News UK in London. Bernard studied politics and mathematics at Victoria University before graduating from Wellington Polytechnic School of Journalism.

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