Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

New look council

Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Doug Sherring
Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Doug Sherring

The make-up of the new council shows Mayor Len Brown has 11 councillors in his camp on most issues, an opposition camp of seven councillors - the most effective of whom is Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer - and two new councillors Linda Cooper and Bill Cashmore, whose positions are unclear.

Ms Cooper won one of two Waitakere ward seats with the backing of deputy mayor Penny Hulse. Mr Cashmore won the rural Franklin seat with the backing of outgoing councillor Des Morrison, who quit the Communities & Residents ticket and became a big fan of Mr Brown.

Mr Brown has lost two of his most loyal lieutenants and former Labour MPs, Richard Northey and Ann Hartley.

Mr Northey fell to the right-leaning C&R candidate Denise Krum in the Maungakiekie-Tamaki ward, while Mrs Hartley was the victim of a lottery in the North Shore. Her seat went to the progressive and energetic Chris Darby.

In Whau, councillor Noelene Raffills held the single seat by 89 votes after the first progress report, but the vote swung in favour of Labour's Ross Clow by 48 votes in the preliminary vote released yesterday. Following the counting of special votes, the final election results will be declared on Thursday.

It took less than 24 hours for the sniping to start on the new Auckland Council, with Rodney councillor Penny Webster saying it was unfortunate Albany councillor Wayne Walker was re-elected.

Mr Walker and his running mate John Watson comfortably won the two seats in the Albany ward against the right-leaning Brent Robinson and Hibiscus and Bays Local Board members Julia Parfitt and Lisa Whyte.

Mrs Webster yesterday accused Mr Walker of abandoning his principles on issues like the Unitary Plan and opposition to the Penlink roading project and becoming a populist six months before the election.

Last night, Mr Walker called the comments rubbish, saying he had been consistent on the Unitary Plan.

Mr Walker is something of a maverick, but the duo will probably vote with Mayor Len Brown on most issues.

The two votes are effectively the difference between a comfortable buffer for Mr Brown and an uncomfortable ride for the next three years.

New-look council

The Brown camp

* Penny Webster
* Wayne Walker
* John Watson
* Chris Darby
* Mike Lee
* Ross Clow*
* Penny Hulse
* Cathy Casey
* Arthur Anae
* Alf Filipaina
* John Walker

The Opposition camp

* George Wood
* Chris Fletcher
* Denise Krum
* Cameron Brewer
* Dick Quax
* Sharon Stewart
* Calum Penrose.

- NZ Herald

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