Manukau Mayor Len Brown has leapfrogged Auckland City Mayor John Banks in a head-to-head poll for the first mayor of the Super City.

The poll of 482 Aucklanders, by UMR Research, had Mr Brown on 35 per cent, marginally ahead of Mr Banks on 34 per cent.

In another match-up, Mr Banks (35 per cent) led Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee (18 per cent).

Gavin White, of UMR Research, said the poll showed Mr Brown enjoyed strong support in South Auckland and with older voters, but he also polled well against Mr Banks across the region. Mr Banks was more popular with younger voters, he said.

The poll is a huge turnaround for Mr Brown from a poll of possible candidates by UMR Research in April. That poll had him on 6 per cent, behind Mr Banks (17 per cent), Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey (10 per cent) and Warehouse boss Stephen Tindall (9 per cent). Mr Lee was on 1 per cent.

Mr Banks, the only declared mayoral candidate, said the poll result was very interesting.

"I respect all contenders, but Len Brown would be a very attractive candidate for the centre-left. He is someone I like and someone I respect and I wouldn't take his candidacy lightly.

Mr Brown, who has hinted at standing for the mayoralty, said he was humbled by the poll findings between himself and Mr Banks.

"My name recognition is nothing like John Banks' is. That is something I would have thought that John and his team will be thinking about a little."

Mr Brown said he believed the region was looking for a leadership style with a balance of community and business and experience.

Mr Lee said given he was on 1 per cent in the April poll, the latest poll was a significant improvement.

"I haven't made a decision to stand, unlike the other two, one who has announced and one who has been campaigning for some months"

* Preferences

BANKS v BROWN

Len Brown 35 per cent
John Banks 34 per cent

BANKS v LEE

John Banks 35 per cent
Mike Lee 18 per cent