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Berry to stand for Auckland mayoralty in 2016

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Following speculation over the last couple of weeks, Affordable Auckland Leader Stephen Berry has confirmed he will be contesting the Auckland Mayoralty as well as standing for Council in the ward of Albany. "In the absence of a Mayoral candidate advocating lower rates, focusing on core Council services and deregulating the housing market, I am assuming the responsibility of representing the interests of the ratepayers and residents of Auckland."

Mr. Berry previously stood for the Mayoralty in 2013, finishing in third place with 13650 votes or 4.1%. He accepts that at this stage he is an outside chance to win but believes Affordable Auckland will be able to have a strong impact on the result of the election. "In 2013 we started campaigning only six months out from the election, our limited resources were spread across five cities and we were ignored by the media. This time around we are starting to campaign today, we will have more resources focused only on the Auckland election and our voice cannot be ignored.

"What is most important for the future of Auckland is not whether I win the Mayoralty, but whether politicians advocating smaller government and less regulation win a majority on the Council. Affordable Auckland will be taking a strategic approach to ensure this occurs."

Mr. Berry considers that based on past performance and the opportunities this ticket has going for it, it would not be unreasonable at this stage to forecast his candidacy may attract 30,000 votes. "I will continue to be a candidate for Mayor as long as there is not another candidate who supports Affordable Auckland’s policies and may attract more votes. Should someone like Cameron Brewer put their name forward in a potential scenario which may indicate a close result, I will be only too happy to consider withdrawing to consolidate support for advocates of smaller council. Of course, considering the universal outrage at the policies of the current Mayor and Council anything can happen this far out from polling day. Right now I am focusing on being the leading candidate to replace Len Brown as Mayor."

It is this determination to act strategically in the interests of opposing big government that is shaping Affordable Auckland’s decision to only stand in wards that it can win, which do not already have candidates or councillors with similar policies. "I have identified the wards of Albany, Franklin and North Shore as being key to Affordable Auckland’s election strategy. Most of the Councillors in these wards have been consistent supporters of Len Brown’s policies and will suffer the backlash at next year’s vote. Affordable Auckland will be the credible alternative in these areas."

Other wards that have been identified as potentially contestable are Manurewa-Papakura, Eden-Albert-Roskill and Waitakere. Berry has ruled out standing candidates in Orakei, Howick and Rodney. "These areas are highly likely to elect representatives that will support our ticket’s policies and we do not wish to split the vote there."

Affordable Auckland’s campaign for Auckland Council starts today. "We will be running the longest election campaign in Auckland local body history to ensure in 2016 we have a council which supports lower rates, quality spending on core services, reduced borrowing, roads based transport solutions and a strategy for affordable housing which removes the Council’s distortionary influence from the market."

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