Niko Kloeten reckons that Maurice Williamson could bury Len Brown in the mayoral race in October.
There are a number of reasons.
A number of political figures on the right believe Mr Williamson would have a better chance of success than fellow MP and ACT Party leader John Banks did when he ran for Auckland mayor three years ago and was thumped by 65,000 votes (234,459 to 169,862).
Councillor Dick Quax, who represents the Howick ward which largely overlaps with the Pakuranga electorate, says Mr Williamson has a very good reputation in the area, with one of the largest majorities of any MP (almost 14,000 votes).
He says Mr Williamson doesn’t carry as much “baggage” as Mr Banks in the eyes of voters, particularly those in area outside the old Auckland City Council.
“The reason why John Banks didn’t do very well was for many people the amalgamation of Auckland was seen as a takeover by Auckland City,” he says.
“They saw John Banks as part of that takeover by Auckland City of the rest of the region and when a credible candidate from outside of the area put his hand up a lot of the votes automatically went to Len Brown.
“A lot of voters in Pakuranga and Howick voted for him because he wasn’t John Banks. That won’t be the case this time.”
Mr Quax says Mr Williamson will also benefit from not being associated with the unitary plan, which many Aucklanders are not happy with. Read more »