Sunday, February 25, 2024

Mayoral candidates to square off

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The race to replace Auckland mayor Phil Goff is under way with five of the contenders set to address voters in Howick on July 23. Photo supplied

East Auckland locals wondering who they want to serve as the city’s next mayor have the chance to quiz some of the candidates vying for the job.

Five of the people battling to replace Phil Goff as Auckland’s mayor are scheduled to appear for a public question and answer session in Howick on July 23.

It’s being organised by well-known Howickian Val Lott and will take place after the Howick Ratepayers and Residents Association annual general meeting starting at 3pm.

Lott says the candidates who will be in attendance are Viv Beck, Gary Brown, Craig Lord, Efeso Collins, and Leo Molloy.

Beck is the chief executive of business promotion group Heart of the City and has been endorsed by the influential centre-right local-body political ticket Communities and Residents (C&R).

C&R president Kit Parkinson says: “Viv is the only centre-right candidate in the mayoral race and has the leadership skills and experience to deliver the best results for Aucklanders.

“With overloaded infrastructure, gridlock traffic, polluted beaches, budget blowouts, and poor strategic planning, we need a mayor with the passion, determination and skills to get things done.”

Gary Brown is chairman of the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board on the North Shore and an entertainer and Austin Powers impersonator.

He’s also a sports referee and the president of the North Harbour Referees Association, and is involved with his local surf lifesaving club.

Craig Lord is a former engineer who works as a freelance media operator and he’s also an event MC and marriage celebrant.

Efeso Collins is a former chairperson of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board and was elected as an Auckland ward councillor for Manukau in 2016, a position he currently holds.

Leo Molloy is a high-profile restaurateur who runs the well-known HeadQuarters bar at downtown Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour and previously worked as a jockey and veterinarian.

The question and answer session with five mayoral candidates starts at 3.30pm on July 23 at Fencible Lounge beside Howick Library, 25 Uxbridge Road, and all are welcome.

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