Auckland mayoral hopeful David Hay has announced his support for rival candidate Phil Goff.
At an African Communities Forum candidate meet-and-greet on Saturday Hay encouraged attendees to vote for Goff.
He said Goff was "the right man for the job" and that he hoped to serve the city alongside Goff as a councillor for the Howick ward.
Hay did not formally withdraw from the mayoral race. He is still running for mayor and as a Howick ward councillor.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
After Hay's announcement Goff thanked him for his support. The other four mayoral candidates who attended the event - Susanna Kruger, Chloe Swarbrick, Mark Thomas and John Palino - were silent on Hay's announcement.
Meanwhile, Hay has announced that a mayoral candidate meeting in Botany and an Auckland University Students Association Anti-Debate today will be his last events.
At Botany, he plans to explain his situation and apologise to voters who have already voted for him, but not participate in the full panel.
Hay said he had not "withdrawn" from the mayoral race, as that is legally impossible.
He remains a candidate for the mayoralty and people may still vote for him. Their vote will be no more wasted than it otherwise would have been, under Auckland's current voting system, he said.
Hay said he strongly advocates for a change to Single Transferable Vote in Auckland, so voters can safely express their true preferences, and candidates don't feel the need to make awkward decisions, such as the one he announced today.