10 Oct 2016

Runners-up on running again: 'Never say never'

8:37 am on 10 October 2016

Post-election news stories are mostly about the victors and how much they won by - but what of those who fought hard on the campaign trail but came up short?

Are they crying into their Monday morning lattes or plotting their next political move? Would they be running again?

"Never say never," was the reply from all the second-placed candidates in our three largest cities.

Auckland mayoral runner-up Vic Crone said she would consider running again in 2019.

Auckland mayoral runner-up Vic Crone said she would consider running again in 2019. Photo: RNZ / Leilani Momoisea

Vic Crone was very upbeat about her election performance, the team behind her and the support she received.

It had given her encouragement for the future and she would not be resting on her laurels for the next three years, she said.

Instead she would keep a close eye on the new mayor, Phil Goff, and make sure he lived up to his promises.

"There were certainly a number of promises made on the campaign trail and absolutely I will be keeping an eye on that those are delivered for Auckland. I think that's really important."

"Aucklanders have had enough of big increases in rates and not enough progress on our infrastructure," she said.

As for her own career, Ms Crone said she had some irons in the fire with a couple of opportunities but she remained focused on playing a big part in Auckland's future.

"I want to play a really big role in how do we move our city forward and make it much stronger on the world stage and in doing that will make New Zealand much stronger. That's what I'm really interested in and passionate about."

In the capital, former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett was humble in defeat and generous in his wishes for the victor Justin Lester and the newly elected council.

"Having been a mayor I know how important it is to not only get elected but have people sitting around the table that share your vision and support the same agenda.

"Justin has that in Wellington and I think that's going to be an enormous strength to his mayoralty and the city as they plot a course for the next three years."

Wellington mayoral candidate Nick Leggett

Wellington mayoral candidate Nick Leggett Photo: RNZ / Nina Fowler

Mr Leggett hoped Wellington would grow and "really own" its capital-city status - but for himself, he would take a break and then look to see what came up.

"I've been a mayor for six years, so part of me says it's a great opportunity to do something different and to use my skills helping either business or the community in how they interact with local government in influencing policy makers."

"There's a lot of opportunity out there and I'm excited about it."

Veteran campaigner John Minto challenged incumbent Lianne Dalziel for the Christchurch job and suffered a heavy loss but remained proud of what his campaign achieved.

"The single greatest achievement has really been to get the council to abandon asset sales. They've been pushed into a corner. The people of Christchurch do not want asset sales," he said.

Christchurch mayoral candidate John Minto

Christchurch mayoral candidate John Minto Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

"I don't think we'll see them go down that asset sale track and if they do there will be a lot of people in Christchurch in hot pursuit of them," he said.

Mr Minto would not rule out a return to electioneering in three years time, but was certainly cooler on the idea than either Vic Crone or Nick Leggett.

"I'd never say never, but no plans at the moment," he said.

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