National Party figures are behind a new ticket, Auckland Future, being set up to wrestle for control of the Super City at next year's local body elections.
Sources have linked National Party president Peter Goodfellow, former presidents Sue Wood and Michelle Boag, and Auckland-based ministers Nikki Kaye and Paul Goldsmith to the plan.
It is understood the National Party is prepared to contribute resources and fundraising skills to the ticket while keeping the National brand away from the Super City arena.
Prime Minister John Key was one of about 80 people at a fundraising event for the new ticket on October 14 at the Geyser Building in Parnell.
The ticket is the latest attempt by the centre-right to win control of the council after two poor campaigns and the failure of the Communities & Residents ticket, formerly Citizens & Ratepayers (C&R), to gain traction.
Joe Davis, a Browns Bay business consultant and National Party volunteer chairing Auckland Future, said the organisation was incorporated in September.
He said there had been a lot of conversation across the centre-right, including the National Party, about wanting to see Auckland run well, and with a vision.
"There is real widespread dissatisfaction with the current state of Auckland," Mr Davis said.
"The city is too big and too important to have councillors voting in an ad hoc manner on key issues."
Mayor Len Brown has been able to exercise power for six years with strong backing from several centre-right councillors, including the vote to increase household rates by an average of 9.9 per cent this year.
Mr Davis said Auckland Future would field a ticket of councillors with a strong policy platform so voters would know what they were voting for.
He said the ticket did not have any candidates lined up and would embrace a mayoral candidate "if, and when, a winnable candidate emerges".
Media personality Bill Ralston said he planned to stand as an independent in the Waitemata and Gulf ward. He did not think aligning himself with one group was positive.
"I wish them well. There are some really sensible people around that ticket," he said.
Several centre-right councillors the Herald spoke to yesterday had had little or no contact with the ticket.
Franklin's Bill Cashmore, North Shore's George Wood and Manurewa-Papakura's Calum Penrose have held informal discussions. Howick's Dick Quax said he had not been approached.
C&R president Karen Sherry, when asked if C&R could merge with Auckland Future, said "that's a discussion that needs to be had" but added "sometimes competition can be healthy".
Ms Kaye, MP for Auckland Central, said she wanted to ensure a strong voice around reducing rates and bureaucracy.
"There has to be change. It [the council] has been pretty fragmented and I'm very interested for a new entity to emerge."
Centre-right councillors on Auckland Council
Cameron Brewer, Orakei ward - Len Brown critic
Bill Cashmore, Franklin ward - Brown supporter
Linda Cooper, Waitakere ward - Brown supporter
Denise Krum, Maungakiekie-Tamaki ward - Brown critic
Dick Quax, Howick ward - Brown critic
Calum Penrose, Manurewa-Papakura ward - Brown supporter
Chris Fletcher, Albert-Eden-Roskill ward - Brown critic
Sharon Stewart, Howick ward - Brown critic
Penny Webster, Rodney ward - Brown supporter
George Wood, North Shore ward - Brown critic
NB: Brown critics have generally opposed the mayor's policies on rates, debt and transport. Brown supporters have generally supported these policies.