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Maungakiekie-Tāmaki ward councillor Josephine Bartley says she won’t be running for Auckland mayoralty says we should see a Pacific Mayor in Auckland.

Auckland Council


Bartley on why Auckland needs a Pacific mayor

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki ward councillor Josephine Bartley says while she won’t be running for the mayoralty, there’s a huge need for Pacific community to get more involved in council politics.

Alka Prasad
21 March 2024, 1:46pm
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Maungakiekie-Tāmaki ward councillor Josephine Bartley says that while Auckland deserves to see a Pacific mayor, she isn’t likely to put her hat in the ring for next year’s mayoral race.

When asked if she would consider running, she says: “I don’t know if I will give it much consideration because it’s a lot.

“It’s not just being the face of the city, you have to be able to get everything out of all your councillors and everything they’re trying to get for their communities,” Bartley told Pacific Mornings.

“It’s a hard job but it’s 2024. I’d love to see Pasifika come through.”

On the ideal candidate, Bartley says: “This is the Polynesian capital of the world. This is where our brother Fa’anānā [Efeso Collins] was a trailblazer. I would have loved for him to be the first Pacific mayor.”

Bartley say's Fa'anānā Efeso Collins would be her ideal choice for the mayor of Auckland.


Bartley adds she considered running in Auckland’s last mayoral race but instead put her support behind Collins.

Pacific community feedback needed on council budgets and rubbish collection

Along with wanting to see more Pacific people put their hands up to be politicians, she is also urging Pacific communities to make a submission for Auckland Council’s long-term plan, which closes on 28 March.

“It’s really important for our Pacific community to fill in the form, go online and go to meetings because our voice isn’t being heard,” she says.

“This budget is really important because it’s saying what the priorities are for the next 10 years. You’re not going to see a [specific] project for Pacific [people] because everything affects our Pacific communities.”

Bartley says Auckland Council needs to hear from Pacific communities for funding and services, like rubbish bin collection, rates and transport costs.

“The last time the mayor proposed a budget, it was really important for Pacific communities to have their say and speak up because normally, we don’t take notice of these budgets,” Bartley says.

She says vital services and organisations like libraries and local boards could have funding slashed if proposed changes go through.

The LTP addresses rates rises and increases transport costs which Bartley says hits Pacific communities the hardest.

Auckland Council is running information sessions around the city, including for the Pacific community, Bartley says.

Council is also taking submissions on waste minimisation, specifically on moving from weekly to fortnightly rubbish collection.

Auckland mayoral race

Regarding next year’s highly anticipated mayoral race, Bartley says the same questions came up during her appearance on Newshub’s AM Show.

“I asked Simon Bridges [who appeared alongside her] if he wants to be mayor and he says no because it's not enough money.

“They asked me about Paula Bennett but if I can be completely honest, she would be dividing as a mayor.”

On Bennett, Bartley adds, “we saw it when she was in Parliament and as the Minister for Social Development.

“If that’s the kind of person running our city, those who are struggling will move further down the list of priorities. It doesn’t make for an inclusive city.”

When asked if current mayor Wayne Brown should run again, she says Auckland could do with a change in leadership.

“Ideally, I would hope that Auckland will get the chance to have a different way of thinking [to lead] the city. I think the mayor … [is] doing his best to make changes.

“He is a practical man. That’s been pretty good but I’d like to see a change in the next election.”

Watch Josephine Bartley’s full interview below: