Could Phil Goff be the dancing mayor like British Prime Minister Theresa May, who strode onto the stage of the Conservative Party conference, swaying her hips to ABBA's Dancing Queen and getting millions of clicks on You Tube?
Goff would die for millions of social media clicks right now as he brushes down his grey suit for a second tilt at the mayoralty, his hair a little whiter after three years knee deep in sewage and congestion.
Last Sunday was Goff's chance to perform before an audience of Labour ministers, Labour councillors and his National Party deputy mayor Bill Cashmore at the Diversity Centre in Papatoetoe at his campaign launch.
What he didn't reckon on was a 10-year-old Samoan girl, Pearl Pita, taking him out of his political comfort zone when she performed a dance before his speech, others got up to dance and he had to join in.
Three years ago Goff told the Herald he was not in politics to entertain or be a singing mayor like his predecessor Len Brown. Just as well because he cannot sway his hips like May or match the flow and rhythm of Pasifika people on the dance floor.
What Goff excels at is politics and depending on your beliefs, either he is taking Auckland down the right path or wrecking the city.
His message to voters is simple. They can choose between an inclusive, progressive and world-class city and a John Tamihere mayoralty that would set Auckland back.
For such an experienced politician - Goff entered politics in 1981 as a Labour MP and rose to be Leader of the Opposition - the mayor has spent a lot of time recently sparring with his former Labour colleague, labelling Tamihere a "failed cabinet minister" and a right-winger with a privatisation agenda.
Goff told the Herald this week he brings experience and skills and, importantly, trustworthiness and reliability. He does not come up with "mad cap schemes", a reference to Tamihere's promise to turn the Auckland Harbour Bridge into a double-decker, 18-lane bridge within six years.
"I won't be deliberately dishonest about promising things I'm going to deliver when I know that I can't. On those things you will see a clear choice between the candidates," he says.
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Goff is standing on his track record in office, a new focus on the environment and a handful of relatively cheap new policies that won't break the bank. The council is right up against its debt ceiling with little room for new spending.
He says the environment is a top priority, but tackling transport congestion and housing affordability are still the top issues. He is proud of increasing the previous 10-year budget between the council and government from $20 billion to $29b under his watch.
In his first term, Goff introduced a regional fuel tax of 11.5 cents a litre, which allowed him to introduce targeted rates for water and the environment while holding annual general rates increases to 2.5 per cent. Next term, he is promising rates increases of 3.5 per cent, or 10.5 per cent over three years.
He has also promised cheaper public transport for school children, accelerating the number of electric buses and electric or hybrid council vehicles and an independent review of council-controlled organisations (CCOs).
The last issue has been an Achilles heel for the mayor, who promised in 2016 to rebuild trust between the people of Auckland and keeping the bureaucrats on a short leash.
Goff disagrees he is handicapped on the CCO issue, but when he announced the review he shared the concerns of Aucklanders about whether the CCOs can be held accountable.
The mayor told the Herald he has gone to extraordinary lengths at times to bring CCOs into line, like criticising Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) over the cost of a branding exercise and subsidy for a Joseph Parker boxing match; and Auckland Transport for failing to front a public meeting over proposed safety measures in St Heliers.
Having slammed Tamihere for wanting to privatise the operating business of Ports of Auckland and sell 49 per cent of Watercare to clean up the beaches, the Herald asked Goff for his position on privatisation.
He said he will not sell the council's 22.4 per cent shares in Auckland Airport and the 77ha of waterfront land occupied by Ports of Auckland.
When it comes to the port business, Goff is opposed to selling it in the next three years because its future is unclear under a yet-to-be-released government report exploring the future of ports in the upper North Island.
Goff is opposed to the privatisation of Watercare and backed away from a "toilet tax" to pay for a $1.4b sewer tunnel running deep below the city.
Under a proposal being considered by the council and Government, the debt for the tunnel would be moved off the council balance sheet and handed to a Crown or another entity paid for through a fixed charge on water bills, dubbed a "toilet tax" and a form of privatisation.
Goff said the funding model for the Watercare sewer project is more likely to be used for funding infrastructure in new subdivisions.
"The biggest toilet tax will come if you privatise Watercare and pay an extra $200 or $300 in water rates. That is absolutely a toilet tax," Goff said.
Goff, who eyed Remuera Golf Course as a possible site for thousands of houses in 2016, no longer has plans to sell golf courses for houses but wants courses to repurpose land for wider public use.