Auckland elections: New team for new mayor

2:38 pm on 6 October 2016

The end of Len Brown's two terms as the mayor of Auckland also ends more than a dozen politically-appointed jobs in his office.

Len Brown. 29 September 2016.

Outgoing Auckland mayor Len Brown is coming to the end of two terms in office. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Some of the team of advisors, analysts and PR staff are moving to other roles within the wider Auckland Council group, but some are expected to leave as the mayoral office is emptied for the first time in six years.

The Auckland mayoral office is unique in this country, with legislation creating an independent budget, which was set at $4.1 million last year.

The budget is set at 0.2 percent of the council's operating budget and creates a semi-executive mayoralty, which can conduct its own research and analysis.

Last year the mayoral office spent $3.73m of the available budget.

The Brown administration had 16 staff as it came to an end, with five of them in largely administrative and clerical roles.

A team of seven worked on policy issues and projects, and included former Papakura District Council chief executive Theresa Stratton as chief of staff.

There were two media staff and two allocated to support deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

Council director of governance Phil Wilson said the office was expected to be empty on the Friday evening prior to the election results, and ready for the newly-elected mayor to begin using with his or her own staff from Monday.

It would be for the new mayor to decide whether to continue employing any people from the Brown era.

Other changes following the election will be the choice of the mayoral car.

Len Brown has had a penchant for black Holdens, having three times chosen the big six-cylinder model during three terms initially at Manukau City Council, and then at Auckland Council.

Len Brown's Holden Calais V-Series Mayoral car.

The outgoing mayor's Holden Calais V-Series Photo: RNZ

But the car does not fit well with the council's greenhouse gas reduction goals, and one leading contender to be the next mayor, Phil Goff has talked of favouring an electric car if elected.

In keeping with past practice, official gifts made to the mayor remain the property of the Auckland Council, with most of them catalogued and stored.

The new mayor will be able to choose from a selection of council-owned art works, but will otherwise occupy the offices on level 27 as they are.

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