Five years ago the old Citizens and Ratepayers (National) grouping virtually dropped out of sight and abandoned the city to its fate under Labour and the hard left Greens. Since then the city has been left to drown in debt, is swamped by overpaid bureaucrats with their own political agendas, yet is only treading water when it comes to sorting out a workable long term plan and releasing land to make housing more affordable.
Exclusive: Party figures drive centre-right platform created out of dissatisfaction with state of Super City
National Party figures are behind a new ticket, Auckland Future, being set up to wrestle for control of the Super City at next year's local body elections.
Sources have linked National Party president Peter Goodfellow, former presidents Sue Wood and Michelle Boag, and Auckland-based ministers Nikki Kaye and Paul Goldsmith to the plan.
It is understood the National Party is prepared to contribute resources and fundraising skills to the ticket while keeping the National brand away from the Super City arena.
Prime Minister John Key was one of about 80 people at a fundraising event for the new ticket on October 14 at the Geyser Building in Parnell.
The ticket is the latest attempt by the centre-right to win control of the council after two poor campaigns and the failure of the Communities & Residents ticket, formerly Citizens & Ratepayers (C&R), to gain traction.
Joe Davis, a Browns Bay business consultant and National Party volunteer chairing Auckland Future, said the organisation was incorporated in September.
He said there had been a lot of conversation across the centre-right, including the National Party, about wanting to see Auckland run well, and with a vision.
"There is real widespread dissatisfaction with the current state of Auckland," Mr Davis said. "The city is too big and too important to have councillors voting in an ad hoc manner on key issues."
Centre-right councillors on Auckland Council
Cameron Brewer, Orakei ward - Len Brown critic
Bill Cashmore, Franklin ward - Brown supporter
Linda Cooper, Waitakere ward - Brown supporter
Denise Krum, Maungakiekie-Tamaki ward - Brown critic
Dick Quax, Howick ward - Brown critic
Calum Penrose, Manurewa-Papakura ward - Brown supporter
Chris Fletcher, Albert-Eden-Roskill ward - Brown critic
Sharon Stewart, Howick ward - Brown critic
Penny Webster, Rodney ward - Brown supporter
George Wood, North Shore ward - Brown critic
NB: Brown critics have generally opposed the mayor's policies on rates, debt and transport. Brown supporters have generally supported these policies.
Cashmore, Cooper, Penrose and Webster are a disgrace. They have consistently voted with Brown and share his vision. The ratepayers of Auckland are not so easily fooled. If any of these four stand for re-election on a National ticket, whatever it is called, then National can kiss goodbye to widespread support from Aucklanders.
These four are all 'Terrible Ten' Councillors who voted for 10%pa rates rises now and into the future. This will not be forgotten or forgiven. With friends like these who needs enemies.
Maybe Auckland Future can weave some magic spell that awakens these supposed centre right Brown supporters from their zombie state and turns them back into candidates worthy of re-election. If not, then they are wasting their time.
Unless ratepayers can be convinced that Auckland Future isn’t the same as Auckland Past under the failed leadership of Brown and his supporters, they will go the same way as Citizens and Ratepayers.