Brown among worlds top 25 mayors

SCOTT MORGAN
Last updated 05:00 26/06/2012
QUESTIONS UNANSWERED: Auckland mayor Len Brown.
SIMPLY THE BEST? Auckland's Len Brown is in the running to be the world's best mayor.

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Is Len Brown the world's best mayor?

It's a question that's yet to be answered but judges from the City Mayors Foundation rate him in the top 25.

Brown is on the shortlist for the 2012 World Mayor Prize run by the London-based group.

Mayors from Florence, Tel Aviv, Oslo and Perth are also in the running for the top prize.

Brown hadn't even heard of the award until late last week but said it was recognition of the entire Auckland Council's efforts in the super-city transition.

"There's a sense it's recognising a major change rather than being so much about me. I'm the cheerleader through that."

The "humbling" nomination also gave Auckland another chance to promote itself internationally, Brown said.

"We don't feature hugely in the global mindset so every opportunity we get to present ourselves in the global arena we need to take with both hands."

The larger populations of other cities may count against Brown as the competition will be partially decided by a public vote but he remains optimistic about his chances.

"Kiwis have always boxed above their weight," he said.

Another glimmer of hope comes from the organisation's website, which says the strength and passion of voters' supporting comments will also be given consideration.

"The organisers believe that the persuasiveness of argument is as important as the number of votes," the website says.

"This ensures that a good mayor from a smaller city can compete on equal terms with a mayor from a large metropolis."

That was shown in 2010 when former New Plymouth mayor Peter Tennent placed ninth in the biennial awards.

To vote for Brown visit worldmayor.com.

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