Long-time political candidate Mark Thomas is standing again for Auckland Council.

Thomas was a mayoral candidate in the 2016 election, and before that was a two-term member of the Orakei Local Board. He is now seeking a position as councillor representing the newly named Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa ward.

He will be on the Communities & Residents (C&R) ticket, alongside sitting councillor Christine Fletcher. The ward elects two councillors.

But Fletcher is also running as mayoral candidate John Tamihere's offsider: if they both win, he will appoint her deputy mayor.

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Thomas says he is "not endorsing a mayoral candidate at this point".

This potentially puts C&R in the unusual position of going into the election with a ticket whose members do not agree on a common programme.

Thomas occupies an unusual niche in New Zealand politics: he was the first victim of MMP. In the 1996 election, when he was leading in the polls as the National candidate for Wellington Central, his leader Jim Bolger instructed the party faithful to vote for Act Party candidate Richard Prebble.

Previous mayoral candidates, from second left, Victoria Crone, Mark Thomas, Chloe Swarbrick and Phil Goff, with Stasi Turnaball, from the Electoral Commission, far left, in September 2016. Photo / Nick Reed
Previous mayoral candidates, from second left, Victoria Crone, Mark Thomas, Chloe Swarbrick and Phil Goff, with Stasi Turnaball, from the Electoral Commission, far left, in September 2016. Photo / Nick Reed

Thomas lost, and then was not placed high enough on the party list to win a seat in the following election, in 1999.

He's been based in Singapore for the past two years, where he ran Serviceworks Group, which he describes as a "smart cities technology business". He is the holder of a leadership award from the World Sustainability Forum.

Thomas says Auckland is not fixing its problems fast enough and has become "the most congested city in Australasia".

"Auckland's competitiveness has fallen relative to Australasian cities. Auckland was the only city in a recent PWC study to experience a real decline in discretionary income."

He wants to make Auckland a smarter city, beef up council planning and accountability and establish a Citizens' Jury to monitor council activities.

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