Campaign: Auckland (Part 5)

From Campaign: Auckland 2016, 10:00 am on 7 October 2016
Chloe Swarbrick in Kelston

Mayoral campaigning is dominated by community hall events - Chloe Swarbrick in Kelston Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

The race for the Auckland mayoralty is all but over, with a low turnout the ultimate scorecard of the quality of campaigning.

With one and a half days of postal voting remaining, only 33.4 percent of papers have been returned, making unlikely the Auckland Council reaching it's goal of a 40 percent turnout. 2013 was the country's second-lowest on 35 percent.

In the final episode of Campaign : Auckland 2016, RNZ Sunday Morning's Wallace Chapman, who also hosts TV's political chat show Backbenches, rates the campaign a 5.8 out of 10. "Bland".

"The mayor is still that visionary who can actually be aspirational. When I walk down Queen Street and see that statue of Sir Dover Myer-Robinson with his fist in the air, that's what we're talking about," he said.

The nature of campaigns is also called into question, with most of the past eight months filled with often poorly-attended community meetings.

Tim Murphy, the former editor-in-chief of the New Zealand Herald, and now covering the campaign for The Spinoff says something has got to change.

"In a local or regional sense it would be good to have some major set piece events which are actually debates and have proper questioning from either ratepayers or media - it's all been a bit random."

And in a campaign first, all six leading candidates get together to talk about how they got on. Only one says emphatically that they'll miss the others.

The class of 2016 at their final debate - Phil Goff, Chloe Swarbrick, Mark thomas, John Palino, David Hay, Vic Crone

The class of 2016 at their final debate - Phil Goff, Chloe Swarbrick, Mark thomas, John Palino, David Hay, Vic Crone Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

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