31 Aug 2009

Brown begins long campaign for super-city mayoralty

6:24 pm on 31 August 2009

The Mayor of Manukau City has launched a campaign for the Auckland super-city mayoralty 14 months out from local body elections.

Len Brown has invited media to watch the unveiling of a billboard in central Auckland on Tuesday, in the territory of Auckland City Mayor John Banks.

Mr Banks is the only other Auckland leader who has announced he will compete for the job.

Mr Brown announced his candidacy on Sunday, saying his campaign would focus on better public transport and representation for Maori on the council.

He says the timing has been well planned, so he can cover the community and knock on as many doors as possible, laying the same foundation as his bid for the Manukau mayoralty.

However, Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey says Mr Brown faces an enormously challenging, expensive and lengthy campaign.

Mr Harvey believes all Auckland leaders will be thinking seriously about how they would handle the role, but at the moment, it is not known what the job of being the 'super-mayor' means. He says he has always been a late runner in a mayoral race and has not made his decison yet.

Auckland Regional Council chairperson Mike Lee says he will not make a final decision on whether to run for the super-city mayoralty until some time next year.

Mr Lee says he has more than enough on his plate at the moment and his current efforts regarding the super-city are to ensure the reality of the change is indeed a super-city.

He says that is especially true in light of what he calls secret Government plans to shrink Greater Auckland's land area.