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Monday 08 November 2010

Local body elections 101: mayoral battles

Posted in: Features
By Jacqui Stanford - 9th October 2010


John Banks, Len Brown, Simon Prast and Andrew Williams

The major talking point of this year's elections is of course the Super City and whether the new all-in-one concept will mean a more streamlined system, or simply put too much power in too few hands.

There are 23 people who are fighting to become Auckland Super City Mayor, a role which is widely considered to be the second most powerful political job in the country – behind Prime Minister John Key of course.

There were no last minute surprise big-name nominations, and the polls suggest the race is a two horse one, between John "I used to hate gay people but now I don't - honest!" Banks and Len "Destiny Church has my back" Brown. Other candidates of interest include gay Auckland Theatre Company founder Simon Prast and the shoot from the hip (and mouth) North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams.

Also running are the woman who never stops fighting the man and is habitually hurled out of council meetings - Penny Bright, while there is also a candidate from a group called Christians Against Abortion among the 23 hopefuls. Exactly what the Super City has to do with babies, I really don't know, however the Communist League has also put up a candidate so there's certainly plenty of diversity.

In all there are 542 nominations for the 170 elected vacancies on the Super City – will soon have a guide to the candidates who may be of interest to GLBT voters.



Never far from the headlines, Jevan Goulter
There's more than enough to talk about in the Wanganui mayoral race without the added debate over how to spell the district's name. Stranger to none, Jevan Goulter proudly states that he is the youngest candidate to run for mayor – he's also possibly the most talked about mayoral and council candidate EVER in the gay world after an endless tide of headlines, scandals and controversies which have kept the forum topic about his escapades running into 19 pages (and counting).

The fresh controversy is the revelation Goulter is taking current mayor and radio shock jock Michael Laws to court, for his insinuations the young candidate is a prostitute and insane, among many other things. How much does Goulter want as compensation for the slurs? $100,000.

Election night is also Goulter's birthday, so he'll be celebrating, one way or another.



Georgina Beyer


Following a burst of enthusiasm for getting back into politics, Georgina Beyer revealed that she would no longer run for Masterton mayor. After leaving her job at Michael Hill Jeweller she simply doesn't have the money for a campaign. It's a tough time for Georgie – not only is she facing the prospect of going on the dole, she's also mourning a longtime friend.


Jenny Rowan
Kapiti Coast

Mayor Jenny Rowan is passionate about the Kapiti Coast and is hoping to lead the region for another term. She has a long list of projects she wants to see completed, projects which take more than one term.

Rowan is an out lesbian, something she has purposely kept out of her campaigns, pointing out it actually has nothing to do with her being mayor.



Kerry Prendergast received a rather odd endorsement from Sir Bob Jones
Wellington has been led by Kerry Prendergast for three terms and may remain at the helm for another three years, unless she is toppled by longtime councillor Celia Wade-Brown.

The other competition comes in the forms of councillor Bryan Pepperell and businessman Jack Yan, with two other candidates making it a much smaller pool than the eleven who ran for mayor in the capital last election.

Sir Bob Jones was going to run, but has instead withdrawn and endorsed Prendergast (while also launching a strange foul mouthed tirade at her). He only had one policy in any case: shutting vehicles out of Lambton Quay. Maybe shutting his mouth would be a better policy in Sir Bob's case?




Bob Parker and Jim Anderton
Parliamentary stalwart and supporter of glbt rights initiatives Jim Anderton is taking on sitting Mayor Bob Parker in Christchurch, in what is an all-male affair. That's not as saucy as it sounds – it simply means ALL 14 mayoral candidates in the Garden City are men. They are: Peter Wakeman, Kayne Harrison, Nathan Ryan, Rik Tindall, Michael Hansen, Byron Clark, Jim Anderton, Bob Parker, Brian Steer, Brad Maxwell, Blair Anderson, Paulus Telfer, Bob Tomkins and Kieran Gallagher-Power.

Parker's father-of-Christchurch-like reaction to the earthquake has seen him take a lead over Anderton in the polls.

Peter Chin



The Mayor with the hair Peter Chin romped home in Dunedin in 2007. This election he is being challenged by six contenders, including councillor and former TV personality Dave Cull and Lee Vandervis, who polled in second place three years ago. Also running are restaurateur Olivier Lequeux, gardening contractor Kevin Dwyer and beneficiary/student Jimmy Knowles.



The entertainer ... or the jester?

Invercargill is always an interesting place (local politics wise) due to its long-serving and long-idiosyncratic Mayor Tim Shaldbolt. He has a real challenge on his hands this election from much-loved local entertainer Suzanne Prentice, who wants to wrest the mayoral chains from his grip.


Jacqui Stanford - 9th October 2010

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