Auckland mayoral candidate Viv Beck has pulled out of the race today, abruptly abandoning a bid that has been dogged by questions over campaign finances.
The Heart of the City chief executive is the second big name to quit, following the decision by restaurateur Leo Molloy to bow out on August 12.
Her late withdrawal means her name will remain on voting papers, with postal voting beginning today.
In a statement, Beck said: “My decision comes with a heavy heart but given the strength of concern about issues that need addressing across our region, it is important to avoid splitting the centre-right vote.
“I would like to acknowledge the hard work and unwavering support from my team, in particular the quality work on policies to address Aucklander’s concerns.
“I have also been heartened by the support I have received from people keen to see a different style of leadership governing our region and to those people, including C&R, I say a sincere thank you.”
There are two kinds of politicians in the world, those that need speeding up, and those who need slowing down. Viv Beck is the former, a woman whose campaign was mired in lethargy, and hubris.
Months ago the three main contenders for the centre-right vote were all put in a room by wiser heads where it was suggested that they do a poll and the leading candidate in that poll would be the candidate and the other two would pull out. They all claimed they were the best, and wouldn’t agree to such a deal. Leo Molloy had the good grace to do the right thing early on and it turns out that only Wayne Brown was right.
If only Viv Beck and her enablers had agreed with that we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now with a failed candidate still on the ballot paper. So if Wayne Brown loses and the difference could have been made up by the stupid people who still voted for Viv Beck then he would have every justification slamming Beck for costing him and the ratepayers of Auckland a centre-right mayor.
But opprobrium should not only be reserved for Viv Beck. Part of the problem also rests with the National Party’s proxy organisation in Auckland Communities and Residents (C&R). They stupidly endorsed Viv Beck and got a whole heap of National MPs to doff their caps to her and now they all look remarkably stupid. The same goes for the National Party, the only conservative party in the Western world that doesn’t run tickets in local body elections. These people are seriously retarded and wilfully blind; ceding control of the elections to the far more committed and organised centre-left who have absolutely no qualms in using the Labour and Green brands to run for councils nationwide.
Unless and until the National Party wakes up, the mess that is Auckland local body elections will continue to be the farce it has been since Adam was a boy and Noah was playing with toy arks in his bath.
Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE