13 Oct 2013

Len Brown retains Auckland mayoralty

8:59 am on 13 October 2013

The mayor of Auckland, Len Brown, has been returned for a second term with a 50,000 vote majority.

Auckland Council says Mr Brown received 148,944 votes, while his nearest rival, centre-right challenger John Palino gained 98,930 votes.

Len Brown celebrates his victory.

Len Brown celebrates his victory. Photo: RNZ

Len Brown celebrated the result with family, friends and campaign supporters at a bar in the inner city suburb of Kingsland and said he was proud and humbled to be re-elected.

He thanked Auckland voters and asked them for patience and tolerance as he and the other Auckland councillors and staff continue the process of making the now three-year-old super city work.

"I want to just acknowledge the people of Auckland and acknowledge to them my real deep humility and appreciation for being re-elected as the mayor of Auckland for another three years.

"It's been a tough campaign and so I want to acknowledge all of the other candidates for the mayoralty for their work, and in particular John Palino."

Mr Palino says he's left a message of congratulations for the mayor, but says the message Mr Brown needs to take away is that the people of Auckland are not happy with how the city is being run and he intends to run for mayor again in 2016.

Mr Palino says receiving almost 99,000 votes after starting his campaign from scratch is extremely heartening.

John Palino.

John Palino. Photo: RNZ

"It was an impossible task. Nobody believed anything would happen but I think we did well.

"To accomplish what we did, how could I fault that? That's just great. I think a lot of people are surprised."

Mr Palino says he will go back into business for two years and then start campaigning a year out from the 2016 election.

Other mayoral contenders in Auckland finished well back, with first time candidate Stephen Berry, who ran under the Affordable Auckland banner, polling third highest with 12,577 votes.

Penny Bright gained 10,635, John Minto 10,279 and the Reverend Uesifili Unasa polled 7,200.

Three years ago, in the first election for the amalgamated Auckland Council, Mr Brown won by margin of about 60,000 votes over John Banks.

The council expects the turnout to to be almost 35%, compared with 51% in the 2010 election.

The main change has come in the Maugakiekie-Tamaki ward where veteran Labour politician Richard Northey has been defeated by centre-right candidate Denise Krum.

On the North Shore, sitting councillor Ann Hartley has been ousted by Chris Darby.

In the Whau ward in West Auckland, sitting councillor Noelene Raffils leads Labour's Ross Clow by just 89 votes.

The other new faces are councillors replacing three who stood-down.

Linda Cooper will join sitting councillor Penny Hulse in the Waitakare Ward, newcomer John Watson will join Wayne Walker in Albany, and Bill Cashmore has won the vacant ward seat in Franklin.