The Bonus for John Banks’s Campaign Team

Media have reported that John Banks has hired a great team of political strategists as he decides whether to throw his hat again into the ring for the Auckland Mayoralty. 

The biggest bonus for Banksie is that Michelle Boag is not available as she is on John Tamihere’s team. Michelle Boag is famous on this blog for poo fingering campaigns and making a bad PR situation even worse. Just ask the Mad Butcher, Peter Leitch.

Weekend Herald cartoon on Michelle Boag and Peter Leitch and the Waiheke Island ‘White island’ fiasco. Rod Emmerson 07/01/16

Banks has been working as a business consultant since bowing out of politics in 2014. But he said he had been shoulder-tapped by figures on the centre-right of Auckland politics and constituents who were concerned about the future of New Zealand’s biggest city, and the leadership of Phil Goff.

[…] Among Banks’ team of advisors is Topham Guerin, the Kiwi digital communications specialists that helped propel Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to an unexpected victory in the general election this year.

And Andrew Laidlaw, a former staffer for global political strategists Crosby Textor, has been leading research about the viability of a Banks candidacy and the state of the Auckland mayoralty race in general.

It’s understood the Banks team believes candidate John Tamihere, who has promoted himself as a centre-Right alternative to Goff, could instead split the vote on the Left.

Mayoral candidate John Tamihere is flanked by Michelle Boag left, and Matt McCarten.

If Banks decides to run he will get my vote. I only considered voting for Tamihere because he is not Goff!

But just three months before polling day, Banks remains undecided about stepping back into the mud-slinging of local body politics. 

According to focus group testing carried out by the Banks team, many voters would welcome having his name on the ticket. 

[…] Nominations for local body elections open on July 19, and polling day is October 12.