Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer has given the strongest hint yet of standing for the Auckland mayoralty, saying he would be tempted by a cohesive, well-funded centre-right grouping.
Mr Brewer told the Herald yesterday he has not completely ruled out standing, but said it was unlikely given he had a young family and a new public relations firm.
"But if a well organised and well-resourced committee shoulder-tapped me with a proposition then, of course, I would consider it."
He would not stand against his "longstanding friend", ex-Act leader and former Auckland City mayor John Banks.
On Tuesday, Mr Brewer outlined his top five priorities in a speech to the Otahuhu Rotary Club - getting back to core business, respecting ratepayers' money, exploring all the funding options, achieving a better balance in transport, and empowering local boards and communities.
He called for greater scrutiny of the council's "huge" running costs, a higher uniform rate paid by all ratepayers and a possible sell-down of the council's airport and port shareholdings.
The comments by the Orakei councillor follow senior Labour politician Phil Goff saying he is giving deep and serious consideration to running for the mayoralty.
Mr Goff was speaking after the news yesterday that Auckland Mayor Len Brown had lost the backing of key members of his campaign team.
Campaign and mayoral advisers delivered a "blunt message" to Mr Brown last month that he has no chance of winning and should step down.
A shaken Mr Brown has not responded to the request.
His deputy, Penny Hulse, yesterday refused to say if she would back him for a third term, saying she was interested in the mayoralty but would not stand against Mr Brown.
Mr Goff, 61, said approaches had been made to him "from right across the community" to step up but he had not made up his mind. He is keen on an overseas posting, but needs to weigh up the chances of a Labour election win.
Mr Brown has said he enjoys the support of his campaign team to continue.
A number of political figures have come out in support of Mr Goff standing for the Auckland mayoralty.
Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Dr Peter Haynes said Mr Gofff was a "hard-working, intelligent, sensible Aucklander through and through".
Former Labour MP Darien Fenton said she "would definitely vote for Phil" - "he is one of the most principled and hard working leaders I've worked for".
Former New Zealand First MP and advocacy manager for UNICEF New Zealand, Deborah Travers- Morris said Mr Goff would be "good".
• Orakei's Cameron Brewer says he could be tempted into standing for mayoralty
• Senior Labour MP Phil Goff is giving deep and serious consideration to standing
• Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse refuses to back Len Brown for a third term
• Key members of Brown's campaign team say he should step down
- additional reporting Mathew Dearnaley