Len Brown one of world's best mayors
After two years at the helm of New Zealand's super-city, Auckland's Len Brown has been named one of the world's top ten mayors.
According to the international 2012 World Mayor Project, Brown is the seventh best city leader on the globe, behind mayors from Australia, Indonesia and South Korea.
Bilbao Mayor Iaki Azkuna, from Spain took the top spot for his work transforming the city into an international centre for tourism and the arts.
More than 205,000 people nominated 912 mayors for the prize, which was voted for by the general public around the world and run by the City Mayors Foundation; an international think tank and campaigning organisation on urban affairs.
Testimonials among the votes described Brown as "a Mayor, not a politician" and an "inspiration and down-to-earth leader of our city".
Brown described the honour as "humbling" and hoped it would be a further step in securing Auckland's position on the world stage.
"It's heartening to see my determination to listen to Aucklanders of all interests, walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, to unclog Auckland roads and to get Auckland moving, to forge constructive working relationships across the political spectrum, and above all, my passion to make Auckland the world's most liveable city for all its residents, business people and visitors, has struck a chord with Aucklanders.
"International recognition of Auckland, our people and our momentum is a positive thing and helps put us on the global map."
The success comes after Brown's patch was named the third best city in the world last year. Auckland beat the likes of Sydney and Montreal to take the number three spot on the Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey.
The City of Sails was also named Australasia's top destination at the 2012 World Travel Awards in October.