Re-elected Auckland mayor Len Brown has wasted little time in calling for a major revamp of the local body voting system.
Confirmed for a second term with 50,014 more votes than his closet rival, businessman and former reality TV chef John Palino, Mr Brown slated the voter turnout - estimated at just 34 per cent of enrolled voters - and says the time is right to embrace online voting in a bid to encourage "better engagement" within the community.
"We will do online voting next time, there is no doubt about that. I think that maybe postal voting has had its day," he says.
"I would like maybe to see us go back to the one-day ballot box vote, with an option of online voting.
"When you get a 75 per cent turnout in Parliamentary elections, there is no reason why that shouldn't be the same with local body elections."
He also acknowledged the belief among some that his re-election was a certainty could have been another reason for voter apathy,
But never believed it would be an easy race, saying he realised there was always going to be a "reasonably good-sized protest vote" due to the raft of changes the super-city council brought in during its first three years.
And while his majority is large, the 148,944 votes he secured is only 47 per cent of all votes cast for mayoral candidates. The remaining 16 mayoralty contenders received a combined 171,016 votes.
Mr Brown confirmed his top three priorities as the council's draft budget and continuing work on housing and transport.
He has "a very good working relationship" with Prime Minister John Key and the Government, he says.
"We have some agreement around the area of transportation and housing."
The Government has committed to backing Mr Brown's $2.86 billion City Rail Link, with construction set to begin in 2020. But the mayor says he'll continue to lobby for work to start as early as 2016. The plan is to rebuild Auckland into an economic powerhouse.
"And I think that is good for the nation."
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you wear a lifejacket when you are on the water - no matter what vessel you are in?