It’s decision day across Aotearoa today as local election results are announced. Video / NZ Herald
Auckland mayoral candidate Viv Beck has amassed almost 6000 votes, despite abandoning her campaign on a centre-right ticket the day postal voting began.
Beck pulled out of the Auckland mayoral race on September 16, but because of her late withdrawal, her name remained on the voting papers mailed out across the region.
Beck ended up coming sixth in the voting with 5,730 votes, according to initial voting tallies as of midday today – when special voting ended.
The former chief executive of Auckland central business association Heart of the City ran a campaign dogged by questions over campaign finances.
Beck’s campaign was rocked in August by revelations of an unpaid $353,000 bill to an advertising company.
Fellow centre-right candidate Wayne Brown won the Auckland mayoralty with 144,619 votes, followed by Labour-endorsed Efeso Collins in second place with 89,811 votes.
While Beck’s 5,730 votes would obviously not have affected the outcome of Brown’s win, her decision to stay in race contrasted with fellow former centre-right candidate Leo Molloy, who pulled out of his campaign the day all candidates had to officially nominate to be on the ballots.
On that day, August 12, Molloy had been shocked by a poll in which he had dropped dramatically in support to third place with 14.5 per cent. Beck was in fourth in that poll, with 12.5 per cent.
Molloy exited the race fearing both candidates, along with Brown, could be doomed if they all continued to share the right vote in the Auckland mayoral race.
But Beck was not perturbed, despite low polling throughout her campaign – that had been backed by the de facto arm of the National Party in Auckland: Communities and Residents.
Other unusual vote-getters in the Auckland mayoral race included adult entertainer Lisa Lewis, who shot to fame after streaking at an All Blacks game in 2006.
Lewis’ campaign vow to “Erect Auckland Together” fell flat as she finished 14th in the mayoral race with 1,749 votes.
Perennial Auckland mayoral candidate John Palino also received 1,704 votes, despite not even living in New Zealand. The former Auckland resident is currently living in Orlando, Florida, in his native country of the United States.
Palino lived in Orlando during the entirety of the campaign, and personally did no actual campaigning beyond registering his name in the ballot.
Another result of note in the Auckland region local government elections comes with Samoan-born New Zealand actor Oscar Kightley’s successful bid to be a member of the Henderson-Massey Local Board.
The New Zealand Order of Merit winner and co-author and actor in the successful Sione’s Wedding movies finished second in the voting for the West Auckland local board, registering 7,848 votes.
The lowest vote-getter across all categories of mayoral, Auckland Council, and Local Board level in the Auckland region was Greg Watt in the Waiheke Local Board, with 30 votes.