Auckland Mayoralty Race Update: Beck quits, Brown advert refresh & Fes walks the talk

The Working Group will be hosting a live-streamed debate on Wednesday when we reveal the final Curia poll before the Auckland Election.


With voting forms reaching Aucklanders today, the voting will begin and the race to become the Mayor of Auckland will be in its final stages.

Here are the main points.

Viv Beck quits: Viv finally read the room and the room said, ‘bugger off’. She took the CnR establishment vote because they couldn’t trust Leo. Her ongoing issue with campaign bills always made it impossible for her to be a front runner and with an electorate as angry at gridlock and lockdown as Auckland is, Beck’s brand of middle ground bridge building was never going to fly. She has endorsed Wayne Brown but Viv’s main support was from the elderly and the bewildered who will probably still vote for her because her name is still on the Ballot.

Advert refresh for Brown: To counter Wayne’s very weak debate performances, a refresh of his  TV adverts and ZB advert have happened, and they are very successful. The problem for Wayne is that the Adverts are far better than his actual performances and the drop between the two can be disconcerting for supporters. Wayne’s strength is as a technocrat and his message of fixing Auckland is one that resonates.

Poor form by Wayne Brown: Refusing to appear at the NZ Herald debate because Simon Wilson was the MC is poor form by Brown. You can be critical of Wilson, but what you can’t deny is that he is a passionate Aucklander with real vision for the city and as such is an important voice in the Auckland Mayoralty Debate circuit!

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Rise in participation? Auckland has a woeful participation rate when it comes to the Mayoralty, barely 35% bothered to vote. I wonder how the angst and pain of the shared universal experience of lockdown has impacted us psychologically. It may be that people feel more fractured, alienated and dislocated than ever before and are numb with apathy, but equally, the experience we’ve gone through may have triggered deep feelings and a need for recognition and we could see a large rise in participation.

Craig Lord the Dark Horse: You can’t write Craig Lord off! He now has more time than ever before with Viv out to gain media oxygen in the debates. Leo’s mob will prefer Lord over Brown so you can’t rule out a result no one is expecting.

Feral antivax Qanon candidates: No one has any issue with anyone standing for Council and asking us to vote for them based on their platform, but what these feral antivax canon lunatics are doing is hiding their true intentions to get elected and cause havoc on our systems of Governance. This is a spoiler tactic to make the system unworkable, that’s not Democratic participation, that’s political vandalism and shouldn’t be rewarded! If you believe in Qanon antivax nonsense, then stand on that platform and attempt to win people over with your argument, don’t hide your true intentions and manipulate our ignorance by your bad actor intentions. Their impact can’t be ruled out because we simply aren’t sure how many people have been infected with this anti-science hate algorithm mind virus.

Fes walks the talk: He has personally promised to do one carless day a week. His future focus stuff is incredibly popular with younger voters, and while they are a demographic who rarely vote, Efeso’s impressive social media network can be used to constantly prod those voters into action.

The all important TV Debates: 50% still don’t know who they will vote for, and the vast majority of Aucklanders have yet to actually see the candidates, I think it will be the TV debates and livestream events that will decide most people’s vote.

The Working Group will be hosting a live-streamed debate on Wednesday when we reveal the final Curia poll before the Auckland Election.

The debate will be live-streamed on The Daily Blog.


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  1. Brown is an Aucklander? I guess you can straddle locations easily enough if you have the resources.

    I have put up with “Brownie” as he liked to be known when a two term FNDC Mayor, for several decades in the Far North, his residence has usually been an apartment literally over the water in Mangonui attached to the local Four Square shop. He put in an illegal carpark to house his surfboard carrying Jeep that blocks the footpath for everyone else.

    If Aucklanders vote for this fool then they deserve what they get! His main track is sacking workers and Administrators he sees as the problem. He said on RNZ that the AT Board all need to sacked, maybe they do, but not on his malign say so. One thing is for sure–he won’t be sacking the undemocratic, unaccountable CCOs because he would not want to anyway, plus the Supercity was set up to keep the people and the Council at arms length from them.

    Beck was never a runner after the invoice scandal came out. The right are desperate to gain the SuperMayoralty for the first time, so lets get in behind Efeso Collins.

  2. Browny engineered the water to flow up hill at the Stanners Rd part of the Kerikeri Irrigation Scheme. People are allowed a past though right. He was scathing about Corrections at a meeting in Kaikohe one night and said wick drainage wasn’t going to stop the foundations of Northland prison subsiding into the Ngawha geothermal and cracking. I liked him for that. But Greenies – I don’t use the word hate – intensely dislike Browny. He was the multinational mining industry’s man in FNDC. Tiger Mountain will probably remember how he travelled round the world promoting hard rock gold & copper mining at Whangaroa. The industry’s man through and through. So WTF him the mayor of Auckland? Browny is guaranteed to be working for someone else. Nek minit Russian investment money & PPPs on the agenda, Auckland.

    • Yep, you are not wrong Richard Mc. He set up sister Cities in China and Canada with a view to Mining operations in the Far North. Heh, the “No Mining” sign persists at slope opposite Kaeo bridge.

  3. I will be interested in looking at this. The main headlines from MSM, seem to be some unpaid bills from Viv, and Leo’s hospo talks, who knows if the viv situation is even true story. Nothing very helpful to make anybody engage in this election.

  4. I am voting for Lisa Lewis at this stage — the adult movie star — she is standing for Auckland Mayor — unless the others step up

  5. “You can be critical of Wilson, but what you can’t deny is that he is a passionate Aucklander with real vision for the city and as such is an important voice in the Auckland Mayoralty Debate circuit!”
    He’s a good writer and journalist, but a complete woose. When others pull the ‘doncha know who I am’ shit I hope we’d agree on the cynicism with which they should be treated. My suspicions is that he owes his career to the likes of David Russell and Kathryn Ryan – And his privileged background. Hopefully he’d acknowledge that others could strike upon the same luck and that they shouldn;t try and reinvent historicals.

    I’m sure he’d have portrayed himself just as passionate a Wellingtonian before his grift north. But good on him – just as long as he doesn’t forget what a pain in the arse a mummies boy he was with one of my friends when dropping a tab in order to be cool.
    I well remember the Burma Road concrete floor abode that raised a Simon Wilson, just as I do his salad days and his early earlier judgmental attitude. (I hope he’s lost it)

  6. Well apparently Viv is still on the ballot on the papers being posted out. You couldn’t make this up, National couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery when it comes to local body elections.

    If Auckland winds up with Collins well they get what they deserve to matching Wellington with their 30km speed limits.

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