Local elections can be costly affairs - and not just the price of mailing out voting forms and collating the returns.
Phil Goff was out of the blocks on July 3 when he announced a policy to reduce bus, train and ferry fares for all of Auckland's school children in the next term of council. He said the policy would reduce child fares to 50 per cent of an adult fare.
"Reducing child fares is the best way to make public transport more affordable for young people all across Auckland. The more we make public transport affordable for children and their families, the more they will use it."
It may find an ear in Wellington. Transport Minister Phil Twyford floated the idea last year of cheaper train and bus fares to tackle gridlock in cities such as Auckland and Wellington.
It's openly acknowledged councils are running out of money. A report by Morrison Low for the Department of Internal Affairs last year found 'systemic affordability challenges' for local government in New Zealand.
Twyford tweeted in February, 2018, that the Government could increase subsidies for public transport in exchange for councils getting people out of cars and into public transport, cycling and walking.
Goff estimated the policy would cost $4.13 million dollars annually in increased opex and lost revenue.
Rival John Tamihere this week announced he would put a three-year freeze on Auckland rates if elected mayor - a policy largely welcomed on his Facebook page.
Tamihere said Goff's planned rates increase over the next three years would be "canned", along with the 11.5 cents per litre petrol tax.
Tamihere said he would also ask landlords to stand up with him - and all Aucklanders – to apply a freeze on household and business rentals across the city.
"As a part of a general rates freeze over the next three years, I will ask landlords in Auckland to show goodwill by freezing rents for the next three years also," Tamihere said.
He estimated the rates freeze would cost $86.6 million per year but he could fund it with a 1 per cent saving across the council and the six-council control organisation.
Tamihere says the rates rise vacation is possible due to the fair winds we are travelling on.
"Like all Aucklanders, landlords will not be paying increased rates; there are currently unprecedented low interest rates; and a Capital Gains Tax is off the table. There has never been a better time for landlords to show their support for a rents freeze."
An "incredulous" NZ Property Investors' Federation executive officer Andrew King noted costs for landlords had gone up in recent times - including rates and insurance.
However, it's openly acknowledged councils are running out of money. A report by Morrison Low for the Department of Internal Affairs last year found "systemic affordability challenges" for local government in New Zealand. The Productivity Commission is due to report back to the Government in November - a month after our local government elections - on what should be done with the widening gap between local government costs and revenues.
Whatever the offers - and the price - the election outcome is likely to be decided by less than half of us. Turnout in the 2016 local authority elections averaged 47 per cent, just as it did in the 2013.