Key Points:

Who will be Auckland's first "Super Mayor"? Will it be a current big city mayor like John Banks or Bob Harvey, a national politician or celebrity?

One thing seems certain. The title of "Lord Mayor" is off the table. The commission heard much opposition - and little support - to the title, including "we are not a little Britain". The title was seen as elitist and archaic.

Alternative names include "Greater Auckland Mayor", "Governor", "Chairman" or just plain "Mayor of Auckland".

With the likelihood of elections for a super mayor next year, possible contenders include:


Mr Banks wants the job, but has not publicly said so. The former National minister must be a frontrunner. He has reinvented himself in a second term as mayor of the country's largest council.

Gone is the combative, bullying John Banks of yesteryear. The 62-year-old exudes a new style and softer image and takes a more pragmatic - sometimes populist - approach to policy.

His leadership and political skills and strong links to the Government put him in a good position to manage what is going to be a difficult and complex job.

He also has the advantage of a high profile. Counting against him will be the inevitable anti-Auckland City backlash from other parts of the region and a lack of vision about where he wants to take Auckland.


Bob Harvey is Auckland's elder statesman in the mayoral chair and may want to cap off 18 years leading Waitakere next year with a tilt at the regionwide job. Mr Harvey, a former advertising executive and Labour Party president, has never been short on vision and is responsible for turning Waitakere into the eco-city of the region.

Of all Auckland's mayors, he is the most colourful, if somewhat prone to weird and wacky ideas.

He may struggle to get widespread support outside Waitakere.


If Len Brown's health can hold up, the 52-year-old lawyer and first term mayor could be a strong contender. The reaction to his heart attack last year showed an outpouring of warmth and affection rarely seen for an Auckland local body politician.

On top of this rare quality, Mr Brown is a highly intelligent and committed politician with a forward-looking and positive vision for Manukau.

He understands the social dimensions of Auckland better than other mayors and has been pro-active in the areas of drugs, alcohol and policing.

Mr Brown is an ideal candidate to benefit from any anti-Auckland City backlash.


Mr Lee has recommended the abolition of the ARC, but that would not stop him from heading a bigger regional council.

Now in his second term, he has steadied the ARC after the rates revolt, kept rate increases to 5 per cent and made excellent progress on public transport and expanding regional parks.

These achievements have been made with little fanfare, which might count against Mr Lee, whose profile is not high. Also, there is an undercurrent against the ARC by those who think it is moribund or an interfering busybody in planning matters.


It will be a miracle if Mr Williams stands for the job. He has been the loudest voice against a super city and is likely to spend all of this year lobbying against change. His odd and sometimes abusive behaviour in the past year has seen him lose credibility locally and at a national level.


Helen Clark has the political skills and knowledge of every nook and cranny in Auckland to qualify for the job, but is unlikely to apply. Her future interests are likely to be in international affairs.


Take your pick, but think about the size of the job. Would Aucklanders really want to hand over the city chains to a political novice?