John Banks and Len Brown came face-to-face last night for the first time on the Super City mayoral hustings, briefly shaking hands and barely acknowledging one another.

The two heavyweight contenders crossed paths outside an annex at the rear of the Pt Chevalier Community Centre where they took turns to share their vision for the Super City and Pt Chevalier with a small gathering of 37 people.

Mr Banks, mayor of Auckland City, has refused to share a platform with his Manukau City counterpart until the last 90 days of the campaign. He cancelled a head-to-head debate at a Trans Tasman Business Circle lunch in March.

Last night, the two politicians did not share the platform, and Mr Brown waited outside in the cold winter air for Mr Banks to finish delivering his vision and fielding some awkward questions.

Talk of embracing all communities to make a "greater Auckland" did not impress longtime Pt Chevalier resident Aloma Kastelan, who told Mr Banks "it's all about what you want" before querying his involvement with Huljich Wealth Management (under investigation for topping up its KiwiSaver accounts) and links to people with a lack of morality.

All Mr Banks could muster by way of an answer was "I don't necessarily agree with you" before reeling off his record of 33 years in public office and promises to create Auckland Infrastructure bonds to pay for big projects.

The old Banksie also raised its head over Mr Brown's credit card breaches and his emotional chest beating and face slapping under intense political and media scrutiny.

"To begin the job of building an Auckland we can be proud of is going to take consistent, decisive leadership. No buckling, no emotion, doing the right thing and doing things right," Mr Banks said.

When it was his turn to speak, Mr Brown, in an open shirt, connected better with his vision to unite communities like Pt Chevalier to make a step-change for Auckland.

Unlike Mr Banks - who was on home turf but said nothing specific about Pt Chevalier - Mr Brown spoke about the issues and opportunities facing the inner-city suburb.

There were tourism opportunities, he said, for facilities like the zoo, Motat and Western Springs Park, the needs to ensure town centres, like Pt Chevalier, were not lost in the change but potential from a new local board.

"I'm positive for you in Pt Chevalier. I can see where your potential lies and I can see what you can make for yourself," Mr Brown told the meeting, organised by the Pt Chevalier Community Committee.

Said one local, Harold Marshall: "I'm glad to hear you mention local boards. The previous speaker didn't mention them once."

Mr Brown also spoke of leadership and the need to deliver a resounding majority for the mayor so he or she could sit there with the mandate with the support of the community.

Judging from the mood of the meeting, he won a resounding victory last night.