4 Mar 2016

Right-leaning groups talk candidate clash

10:30 am on 4 March 2016

Two Auckland local body groups with National Party links meet today to avert a clash of centre-right candidates.

Christine Fletcher.

Christine Fletcher. Photo: SUPPLIED

The long-established Communities and Residents (C&R) group was planning to contest both seats in the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward when the new Auckland Future ticket named a candidate for the same contest.

Auckland Future was created to run a regionwide centre-right campaign, but C&R has already chosen a candidate for the wealthy Orakei ward, and hopes soon to settle Albert-Eden-Roskill.

C&R president Karen Sherry said her group, which includes the sitting councillor Christine Fletcher, was surprised by the announcement that lawyer Rob Harris would stand for Auckland Future.

"We had had some conversations with Auckland Future but nothing was agreed, and we had a no surprises policy," she said.

Mr Sherry would not say how the issue would be resolved, but that C&R would do what was best for Auckland.

She was surprised that Auckland Future's media release made it sound as though Christine Fletcher was part of the new group.

The release read: " With former mayor and long-standing councillor Christine Fletcher contesting the second seat in the ward, they will be a formidable team."

Auckland Future co-ordinator former National Party president Sue Wood said there was no awkwardness between the two groups, and they would be meeting this morning.