Blame injustice, meddlers, wretched fortune, or just plain old karma, but the bell is ringing for Len Brown. His campaign team, it says in the newspaper, doesn't think the mayor can win again next year. But his likely departure opens the door for a sparkling line-up of fresh faces. Here are some of the bright new things being talked about, along with a stab at how they might introduce their manifestos.
Phil Goff for mayor
I have hardly given any thought to standing for the Auckland mayoralty, but people keep approaching me and demanding that I become Auckland mayor. For this reason I have given it plenty of thought. As I travel up and down the aisles at the Mt Roskill Countdown, ordinary people from across the community come up to me and say things like, "Will you stand for mayor, Phil?" or "You're going to have to go home now, Phil, we're about to close."
Maurice Williamson for mayor
I have heard this contest for the Auckland mayoralty described as a grey onslaught. I am really struggling to know what the grey onslaught will look like. Will it come down the Pakuranga Highway as a series of ageing members of parliament? No, it will not. More like Queen St, actually.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have news for you! This morning we had the most enormous big grey rainbow across my electorate, a resplendent great arc in every imaginable tone of grey. Now that I think about it, it was an off-ramp. Nevertheless, it has to be a sign.
John Banks for mayor
Do you think I came up the river on a cabbage boat? I did not. I came up the river on a massive hovercraft assembled from the cadavers of my vanquished enemies, drawn by a litter of rehabilitated beagles. Mark my words, I shall mayor you once more. The universe is unfolding as it should.
Penny Hulse for mayor
Just like Len but not at all like Len, if you take my meaning. I am Pen, then. Len again, but without any Len.
Winston Peters for mayor
A stunt? What kind of a question is that? Do you have the slightest idea who you're talking to? Anyone with half a brain can work it out. Ten bridges in Northland. 1080. X Factor. And Auckland? 09. Do I have to join the dots for you? With respect, if you're not the complete idiot that you appear to be, the question you should be asking is who are these other so-called candidates and why are they really standing for this prestigious position representing the people of Auckland? They're a bunch of fakes, that's right, a pack of interlopers, cinderellarisers and wannabes.
They're a laughing stock. It's cheesy, it's disgusting. I personally find it absolutely atrocious. I am embarrassed to be sitting here in their presence even having to dignify them with an answer of my opinion. Have you seen how many Chinese restaurants there are on Dominion Rd?
Donghua Liu for mayor
I have files on you all. I have been to all your houses.
Tim Shadbolt for mayor
What! No! Ha! Yeah! I don't care where, as long as I'm mayor! What was that? Auckland? Yeah? Where? Yeah! This is Tim Shadbolt speaking.
John Kirwan for mayor
Couldn't be prouder. Huge effort. Gave it everything. Especially pleasing is our consistent performance as a city, in being only slightly not as good as all the other cities.
Paul Henry for mayor Paul Henry.
Paul Henry. Only Paul Bloody Henry! Paul Henry of the Paul Henry Everywhere Breakfast, the frankly thrilling new reality TV treat from TV3 - a channel full of people with conviction, as well as people with convictions.
In The Paul Henry Everywhere Breakfast - or should it be The Sex Factor? I think it should, you know, I think it bloody should! - I float about the place wearing nothing except a spacesuit and what I do is I ad-lib like mad - like mad! - shrieking out shite like Edna bloody Everage, then slowing down to emphasise something, prodding with a pencil like this - just, like, this - then speeding up again - look, I'm speeding up again - while my co-hosts struggle to get a word in but they bloody can't - bastards! - because I just keep bloody talking - I do! - on and on and they can't get a bloody word in, can they? No they bloody can not!
Paul Henry talking shite on the radio, on the television, in space, and why not in the Town Bloody Hall? Bloody council! Bloody mayor! I hate the council. I hate the mayor. I'm the council! I'm the mayor! Shite! Bastards! What a load of shite!
Natalia Kills and Willy Moon for mayor
The kauri tree for mayor
I was here before any of you was born. I will be here when you are all gone. I am sky and I am earth and I am tree and I am time. And something has to be done about that intersection at the top of South Titirangi Rd.
Len Brown for mayor
Hey, I'm not actually -