Xero Managing Director Victoria Crone is expected to announce her candidacy for the Auckland Mayoralty today.

Though she is being talked about enthusiastically by some leading National Party MPs and party insiders, at this stage she will not be standing under the Auckland Future banner.

Auckland Future is close to the National Party and is aiming to organise a centre-right caucus around the Council table.

Prominent National Party figures, Joes Davies and former President Sue Wood, are playing leading roles.

But Ms Crone can expect some questions about her candidacy.

Her offer to assist Labour with its Commission into the Future of Work and her appearance at the recent Labour Party conference on a panel on the Commission raises some questions.

As does revelations from ACT’s David Seymour that Xero under her leadership signed a job creation agreement with the Auckland Council and the current Mayor, Len Brown.

This point has been highlighted by the right-wing blogger ‘Whaleoil” who has promised further revelations.

But sources inside the centre-right in Auckland say she is on message as far as fiscal prudence is concerned.

At the heart of the Auckland Future campaign for the Council will be a desire to rein in rates increases.


And fingers from both Wellington and Auckland are pointing at the Council’s “lazy” balance sheet with its number of high value assets.

Given that Labour MP Phil Goff has already committed to not selling any Council assets there is an opportunity for the centre-right candidate to sell (or part sell) assets to undertake more infrastructure development in the city.

Mr Goff will be forced to either seek Government funding (unlikely) or to borrow more or raise rates if he wants to match any ambitious infrastructure development plan the centre right might put up.

That all of this has a National importance was underlined last Thursday when the Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, suggested one way the Government could try and kick start the economy quickly would be to bring forward infrastructure spending in Auckland.

At the last election, the centre right candidate, John Palino, really only won the North shore and northern wards and the affluent eastern suburbs wards of  Maungakiekie and Orakei.

Mr Brown however won huge majorities in both west and south Auckland.

It is those areas which Mr Goff is believed to already have been targeting through his connections with ethnic communities in Auckland.

If anything this election may shape up as a clear demographic difference between East and North Auckland – white – and West and South Auckland, brown and multi ethnic.