Banks to Shadbolt – keep hands off Auckland

Tim Shadbolt says that if Auckland becomes a super city it would need a celebrity to lead it but John Banks isn’t impressed.

When pigs could fly and muttonbirds took up roost in Auckland would be the day Tim Shadbolt became mayor of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland Mayor John Banks said.

 The Sunday Star Times reported yesterday that Mr Shadbolt was regularly pressured to be Auckland’s mayor and he was not ruling it out. But the statement was met with a defiant retort from Mr Banks.

“I think the chances of Mr Shadbolt becoming the mayor of a super city in Auckland are about as much chance as pigs flying — and I love pigs,” Mr Banks said.

“And the problem also for Mayor Shadbolt is here in Auckland it’s not cold enough for muttonbirds.” Mr Shadbolt was ideally suited to the polar region of the country and not so well suited to the fifth best city in the world, Mr Banks said.

The second-time-around Auckland mayor said he had been elected back because he was the one to promote and execute a move to the city becoming a super city.

Auckland finds out in December whether its seven city and district councils and one regional council will be rejigged — potentially into a single local authority or an amalgamation of several existing councils — when the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Auckland Governance releases its recommendations.

Mr Shadbolt said Mr Bank’s comments were born out of insecurities.

“I used to find his comments insulting but now I’ve sort of acclimatised and know they’re born out of insecurities.”

Whether Auckland needs Tim is a moot point, but why would he want to leave Invercargill which is growing on the back of the rural upturn for Auckland which is facing recession?

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