Voting papers have now started going out for local body elections. While the Mayoral contest understandably gets the most coverage, there is considerably less the further down the chain the position is and so the harder it becomes. In some cases at a Councillor level but almost certainly by the time you get to the local board level you’re likely to be voting on people you’ve never seen or even heard of before based on nothing more than a picture and a vague blurb – and it’s amazing how crappy they can be. And candidates for DHB and if you have one, a licencing trust take this to another level.

To try and help inform the public, our friends at Generation Zero have put in a huge effort to interview and score candidates for mayor, council and local board. Here’s what they say:

We asked every council candidate the same 14 questions on Transport, Housing and the Environment. We gave them points based on how well they answered and how well they matched Generation Zero’s vision for a liveable low-carbon Auckland.

One thing I really like is how much detail they’ve provided this time. They’ve explicitly list the questions they’ve asked and their marking criteria so that it’s clear everyone is marked by looking through the same lens. The 14 questions are grouped into the three categories mentioned above – with over half focused on transport – a fourth category is scores a candidate’s competency and is based on a number of different factors.

At a glance readers are able to see the overall score and the score for each category. By drilling down on a candidate you can to see how many points were scored for each question along with the markers thoughts on the candidate.

As an example, here are the five highest scores for mayor. John Palino scored the lowest of probably any candidate with a E overall.


Given Goff is the front runner in all polls so far I’ve used his result to show the synopsis and break down in his scores for the transport section.


What is interesting about looking through the various council wards is some have lots of candidates that have scored well to pick from – such as in Manukau


While in other areas people will to choose from candidates who have scored fairly low, one such ward is Maungakiekie-Tāmaki where the best score was incumbent Denise Krum with a C+.


As well as getting an A+ score, Manukau candidate Efeso Collins is also probably the first Auckland candidate in to have his own song. Perhaps it should become a requirement of candidates from now on?

Unfortunately, not all mayoral or council candidates have a ranking as it relied on Generation Zero being able to contact them and them being willing to be interviewed for this. Overall it’s a fantastic resource so thank you to Generation Zero for putting so much effort in for it.

In addition to the work above, if you’re looking for more information candidates the council’s official website has information too. And lastly, Vote Local has a quiz you can do which then compares your answers to mayoral candidates.

Happy voting

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  1. Funny. Palinos not on the list and he is the only one who thinks differently to the rest – satellite city creation. You might poo-poo that but continually thinking the CBD and transport to and from it as being the end all will ultimately stifle Auckland. I know he wont win but at least he had something different to offer – that actually makes sense.

    1. Satellite cites are pretty dumb actually.

      Auckland’s geography means you can’t just drive around the city to get to a satellite city. So getting to Manukau is terrible for those in the North and pretty bad for those in the West. Albany is difficult for those in the south and east, etc.

      The result is that any satellite city ends up having a pretty poor catchment area – ie it’s the same as living in a smaller city.

      So economics will tend to push for one big city. Satellite cities can only exist due to market manipulation (mostly in the forms of subsidies and zoning laws).

      Trying to fight this natural flow, by taxing, regulating and subsidizing for your satellite city nonsense will simply cause prices to rise and overall economic inefficiency (which literally means: people getting less of what they want!).

      1. Yes, Auckland does seem a lot like multiple cities that have merged into one another.

        Palino wants the existing suburbs protected for him and his friends and has frantically tried to find somewhere for the growth to happen that will allow this to happen.

  2. Metro magazine was picking Efeso Collins as a potential Deputy Mayor.

    While Penny Hulse deserves this job for as long as she wants it, it seems like he would be a decent replacement if a new Mayor wanted a clearly new team.

      1. I’m not a big fan of the highly expansive sprawl she has overseen, but she has her admirers – if you like that sort of thing.

  3. A few of the Bike Burbs have done scorecards for local board candidates – obviously focussing on finding the bike-friendly candidates rather than anything else, but maybe better than a stab in the dark.
    Orakei is on the way (check Bike Eastern Suburbs on Facebook)

    1. I’m really struggling with who to vote for in Devonport-Takapuna. The current board comprises three members that pride themselves on “listening to the community” and “standing up to Council” – i.e. george wood/dick quaxalikes aligned with the vocal, elderly, rich, status-quo preserving, “heritage” brigade, and three more sensible, progressive members that actually think about the whole community. Unfortunately none of those three are standing again (probably because of the abuse they put up with from the awful shouty old rich people), and all the candidates appear to be pretty awful.

      1. Nick I think “listening to the community” and “standing up to Council” are important functions of local boards. And in the absence of democracy at community level, we need local advocacy in Devonport-Takapuna where we have Auckland’s most expensive public transport and a distant council now measuring up our public spaces for sale to private developers. Carol’s link above shows that most of them are pro-cycling, and once you rule out the road-widening group the remainder should be OK I think. We’re going to have many more residents in D-T in the future, so any candidate who won’t stand up against bulldozing green spaces has no appeal to me. If our local board doesn’t stand up against destruction of green spaces or AT short-changing us, then who will?

  4. One thing that has surprised me is how under-whelming Victoria Crone has been. She said she would have fresh and bold ideas but I have yet to hear anything that is anything different than the usual “cap the rates” and “smart thinking” on transport (but light on detail). I would actually like to know what are these ideas.

    1. Her transport priorities are:

      Road based: Lake Road, Penlink, Mill Road
      PT based: Pukekohe electrification, AMETI, NW Busway
      Other: Massive park-and-rides at NEX stations (over feeder buses), cheaper parking in the CBD

      Anti congestion pricing

      Pro driverless technology

      Low support for CRL, LRT (to airport) and cycling initiatives.

      1. I know her policies but I mean there isn’t anything that is fresh or amazing. Just the same old tired mix that even her party masters have abandoned if the ATAP is anything to go by. My point is that it’s just more of the same from the old C & R days. I think a lot on the centre-right thought that people were so desperate to dump Mayor Brown that people would vote against anyone that was loosely tied to the Mayor – hence the half dozen centre-right candidates tripping over themselves to get elected. However, if the polls are anything to go by, that the policies of Mayor Brown are generally supported. Even Bernard Orsman in his open letter to the new mayor, without admitting it of course, accepts that Mayor Brown’s approach is the correct one. It looks like the path established by Mayor Brown is the path that the next council will follow.

        1. He actually went as far as praising the Mayor: “Ironically, you inherit Robbie’s dream with work under way on the City Rail Link – New Zealand’s biggest transport project. Hats off to Len Brown for making it happen against the odds. New electric trains and soaring patronage made it a no brainer.”

  5. I believe the majority of the commentators realise the CBD serves primarily as the hub to the majority of transport and advocated instead for INTERCONNECTIVITY! The way the transport system has already been built hubs through the CBD so lets make this more efficient – like how the CRL benefits Westies the most and makes getting from say Henderson to Otahuhu much easier, for example.

    1. David Rankin is certifiable. So from deciding I’ll be voting Goff, I’ve decided that as he will likely win the mayoralty anyway I’m going to strategically vote for Chloe Swarbrick. Hopefully the more votes will keep her in the public eye and set her up for future years.A third place would be a victory for her.

  6. Papakura doesn’t have too much choice, not the biggest fan of Mr Penrose after having a quick chat with him at an AT public day a few months ago.

    1. If only we can steal some of the Manukau Candidates. They have abundance of great candidates; pretty sure they could have spared us two.

    2. Come and look at our fence. We are proudly supporting Calum Penrose and John Walker as they have the needed experience. The other candidate is unsure whether he wants to be an MP or Councillor. Ask Danni if his rates in Wattle Downs went up 9.9%, because I live there as well and ours certainly didn’t.

  7. Hard to decide what to do in Waitemamta: Rob Thomas looks good but is extremely unlikely to win. So left with Mike Lee and Bill Ralston. Mike has become old, tired, arrogant and cynical. BIll appears similar but from a more right-wing budget slashing background.

    Any thoughts who deserves the vote more here?

    1. I’ve always voted Mike Lee and if he’d been more supportive of the unitary plan I would’ve this time as well. The Metro magazine article “Grizzly Bears in Suits” made it clear that when it comes to transport Bill Ralston is not to be trusted – his greatest hope in that regard according to the article is that he can have an unimpeded drive to visit his daughter across town.

      Rob Thomas scored highly on the Gen Zero scorecard with good feedback. So therefore not overly happy with the other two I took the third option. It was unfortunate that the normally excellent Metro decided to sideline Thomas in their article.

      BTW I have a piece of feedback on Gen Zero’s remarks re Mike Lee. He may have been probably just about the most opposed councillor to the Unitary Plan but I found the remarks saying he lacked support for cycling a bit strange. Just before the Skypath vote went before council Gen Zero encouraged supporters to email their local ward rep(s) to vote for the project. Thus I duly emailed Cr Lee requesting this. I was impressed to get an email back from Cr Lee thanking me for my email and that he had supported the project from the outset and had never envisaged voting anything other than Yes.

      Finally the Love Your Auckland website also has good profiles of local candidates, including local boards which Gen Zero didn’t cover. Whilst I mainly voted for City Vision candidates, apart from Rob Thomas, there’s another independent candidate Morgan Avery who looks very supportive of active modes & PT.

      1. It’s not skypath that’s the issue but support for other cycling projects. I know he’s gone in to bat for retailers who have opposed cycle infrastructure near them and done the same for retailers who want on-street carparks at the expense of PT, it’s bizzare

      2. On the topic of Mike Lee: I’ve searched his website for references to “cycling” and couldn’t find any.

        On that basis, I’d say he’s not an advocate. In fact, the impression I get from Mike is that he doesn’t support anything except 1) rail everywhere; 2) parks everywhere; and 3) wooden shacks. I mean heritage. Mike loves heritage.

  8. It may be due to the oldish version of Internet Explorer that my work mandates, but when I enter an address to find my local voting area… nothing happens. As such, the site would benefit from being able to navigate to results by voting area in some other manner than address lookup. I know my voting area already.

  9. Chloe is close 3rd the most recent polls. Everyone in my family (5 votes) will be voting for her. Phil Goff is the likely winner, however putting Chloe to second place will give her lots of attention and publicity which will help promote her ideas. Plus Phil and Chloe as the top two will send a message to everyone that Auckland wants less roads and more other options!

      1. That would be an interesting interpretation. There is little in common policy wise between Crone and Chloe. I can’t see anyone tallying up the votes for those two at the end and somehow turning it into an anti Goff commentary. If anything you’d add Chloe’s tally to Goff to demonstrate the centre left and centre right votes difference.

        I would imagine that the way to show support for Crone would be to vote for her.

      2. Because someone sees a five letter name starting with “C”, ending with “e”, and having an “o” in it, and assumes it says Crone?

  10. I’ve had a few surprises here, with people I know are strong advocates for public transport, the environment, and affordable housing coming in behind people who obviously wrote a little better on the form.

    I’d treat this exercise as advisory rather than an ultimate guide to who deserves your support.

    1. As I understand it, it wasn’t a form but an actual interview and the judging was based also based on the candidates being able to demonstrate they understood the details
      So just saying you support PT doesn’t cut it, you have to show you understand the implications of that.

      1. And that’s fair enough. I’ve learned long ago not to trust fine words until something is actually a budget item. But there are a few people I know who got marked down for not having in-depth knowledge, despite a strong commitment to the issues.

  11. This is useful information for informing young abouts who to vote.

    However there could be political bias for what is considered the ‘right’ answer and the results would be pro green party.

    1. The ‘bias’ is that generation zero are an environmental group. Obviously a green party politician is more likely to be aligned.

    1. There are a number of LB candidates in other areas who have all A+ rankings too e.g. Shane Henderson in Henderson-Massey. I don’t think the LB candidates are ranked as toughly

      1. City Vision’s Kurt Taogaga in the Waitemata LB also got straight A+ from Gen Zero and along with independent Morgan Avery, Pippa Coom & Chang Hung looked the most impressive candidates on both the Gen Zero and Love Your Auckland websites for that LB.

        Actually the majority of candidates clearly promoted active modes and PT but Future Auckland candidates couldn’t detach themselves from the rates matter the most mantra of their C&R predecessors.

        One guy running for Waitemata who otherwise I didn’t see much sense from and had a way too negative vibe to his profile on the Love Your Auckland website, did make the point though about AT should be under direct AC control. I totally agree and if I was running for mayor one of my key campaign points would be to seek to change the relationship of the two organisations and make the AT board electable.

        AT is one of the most important organisations in Auckland and I have never accepted that it should be run by an unelected board. While I generally support the creation of the Super City I very much disagree with how things were done when it came to Auckland’s main transport organisation. I think given the fact AT continues to frequently get offside with the public with poor comms and implementation of some projects I’m surpised this is not an issue that has come to the fore in this election because I think it’s time the discussion was had. Has Goff said anything about trying to bring it inhouse and make its borad democratically elected in future local government elections?

        1. I agree with this – perhaps the AT board should be made up of one board member per local board, plus the mayor or deputy mayor? Same for Panuku Development which is also having an unelected impact in a lot of places without seeming to require local representation or local board sign-off on its activities.

          1. Nightmare; exactly what we set out to get away from. Every little area pushing for their pet projects. No; transport has to be region wide, and be run at an arm’s length from politicians. 12 Mike Lees or George Woods around a table all squabbling for their pet tram/motorway flyover and campaigning to the public on specific projects not city-wide outcomes. Horror show.

          2. Patrick, don’t forget Onehunga rail was one of Mike Lee’s projects, when ARTA didn’t want it. Had elected leaders been kept at arms length from transport planning at that time, the branch would still be closed today. Don’t be so quick to put all your faith in AT. They’ve already canned Airport rail without any public input, and pulled major roading projects nobody saw coming out of a hat, also with no public input. They only get away with such things for the very reason that local politicians have been sidelined from the process. That’s not democracy, and it doesn’t deliver the outcomes we all want.

        2. Thanks Simon C for taking the time to read through the Show your Love website profiles
          Candidates weren’t given much time to respond and make a video. I’ve been wondering whether voters are finding it useful checking out online profiles (in addition to or instead of the candidate statement in the booklet).
          As there have been quite a few opportunities to respond to surveys from different organisations I’ve posted all my responses that are often not made public as part of the survey or grading (it makes for rather a long post!)

          I find it interesting that C&R and Auckland Future (Nat aligned candidates) appear not to have bothered responding to survey questions. I wonder if this has any influence on voters. I’m part of the City Vision team (Green, Labour, community independents) and we’re encouraged to acknowledge every request so that voters have a very clear idea of what we stand for.

          1. I’ve certainly found the online profiles more useful. They seem to be a good gauge as to just how interested a candidate is and has allowed me to look deeper into their views on issues.

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