This isn't a column about who should be elected Mayor of Auckland. It's a column about who shouldn't be.
Efeso Collins shouldn't be.
Collins seems like a nice man, but being nice isn't a qualification for mayor of New Zealand's biggest city. His policies suck. He will set Auckland back by years.
This week, more than 100 chief executives shared their views for the Herald's Mood of the Boardroom. They put "congestion in Auckland" in the top five infrastructure problems they face.
Collins won't fix that. He'll make that worse through inaction.
His most recent transport idea is to announce he's ditching his car for a day a week. It's car-free Wednesdays for Collins.
That's not innovative. It's an idea from the 1970s and it was a rubbish idea back then anyway.
Taking cars off roads is not practical. It might work for some white-collar, desk-based workers, but it's not going to work for plumbers, courier drivers and fitness instructors. It's not going to work for teachers, doctors and police officers. It's not going to work for cleaners, retail assistants and chefs. It's not going to work for most of us. It's not even going to work for Auckland's mayor.
I don't know what it says about Collins' understanding of or commitment to the job if he thinks he can stay home on Wednesdays or spare the time to catch the bus to and from the office and also every other mayoral event he'll need to go to on Wednesdays.
The mayoral job is one of the hardest jobs in politics. Auckland's mayor has more hands to shake and more events to attend than even Cabinet ministers do. If Collins were to win the mayoral race, his car-free Wednesdays probably won't last a year. If they do, he's not doing his job properly.
Collins seems like one of those politicians who parrots the party lines without thinking things through. He's the Labour candidate. Labour supports light rail. He supports light rail. Labour will commit to building another harbour crossing but won't let cars on it. So he will commit to building another harbour crossing, but won't guarantee letting cars on it.
It's either a straight parroting, or he really does believe the idiocy of car hatred.
It is a shockingly stupid idea to pour huge amounts of money into building another crossing but then refusing to put cars on it as well. Yes, the trains should be able to cross. Yes, the bikes should definitely be able to cross. Yes, even the runners should be able to cross. But why shouldn't the cars too?
The daily congestion on the harbour bridge costs the country money in lost productivity. People need to move to make money. They need to get to the pipes to fix them to get paid. They need to drop off the parcels to get paid. They need to open the shop to sell things. Refusing to build cars into the next crossing is actively choosing to keep Auckland and New Zealand poorer than they should be.
Collins also, very unfortunately, supports one of the dumbest transport projects ever dreamt up for Auckland. Light rail is dumb because it's in the wrong part of Auckland and it's now too expensive to justify.
Every new costing puts the price tag higher and higher. It's now hit $29 billion. For that, Auckland could buy two tunnels under the Waitematā Harbour.
Collins' only real competition for the job is Wayne Brown. He's not the perfect candidate. He can be rude. He seems more practical than principled. But he will kill light rail and save $29b. And he will guarantee that any new harbour crossing includes lanes for cars.
At the moment 1.7 million people live in Auckland. It won't stay that way. At some stage, there will be two million. And then there will be three million. And then who knows?
The next Mayor of Auckland should be building a city for future growth, not stealing ideas from the 1970s.