Given the lack of talent among the second term Councillors of the left (Filipaino, Darby, Casey, Clow, Watson and Wayne Walker), and the very talented, but politically unacceptable, fiscally conservative Councillors (Fletcher, Simpson, Krum, Newman, Stewart and Quax) it could be argued that Cashmore is the only acceptable choice. Former deputy, Penny Hulse, and Mike Lee have made too many enemies on both sides of the fence to be any use to Goff.
These days there’s very little ideological difference between the right-wing Labour Goff and blue-green National Cashmore. Labour is finished anywhere except the inner cities, so it could be argued that the new power structure in Auckland reflects the reality of national politics.
It remains to be seen if this duo can bring some credibility and dignity back into Auckland politics. They will certainly have to lift their game and bring some fiscal responsibility into Council or they will risk further alienating those who are forced to pay for everything, the ratepayers. Goff told me it would be suicide for him to break his election promise of keeping rates rises to 2.5%. Does he have the stomach for committing hara-kiri? I hope so if he fails to keep his word.