As a fresh face on the political landscape back in 2019 Lord was able to punch through the chaos of 20 other Mayoral candidates to become the surprise of the election.
Whilst the final vote numbers certainly had him a distant 3rd behind two well recognised former MPs, he was well ahead of the rest and the name recognition garnered from it will place him in good stead for 2022.
“Everyone that voted or followed my campaign saw me go from a nobody to someone that had potential - I’m proud of what was achieved.” Says Lord.
2022 is going to be a different run with Labour needing to pick their new candidate to replace the outgoing Phil Goff. Then there will be the usual gaggle of activists and noise makers who want a shot. However none of the other contenders worry Lord.
“My stance has not changed from the 2019 campaign. The role of the Mayor is to be the face and voice of the city and to represent all the people. So to take an old sporting adage, in this campaign I’ll be playing the ball not the man. My focus will be to show the voters that I want to bring Auckland council back to where it was always meant to be - a provider of efficient, effective core services. We have to tighten the purse strings, stop all frivolous spending and go back to basics. While I’m doing that, the rest of the candidates can scrap amongst themselves.”
Lord is fully aware that getting cut through to the voters is a mammoth task.
“Every election there’s a bunch of activists, there’s usually a former central MP looking for a cushy retirement gig, there’s the ones who want to use the campaign as a stepping stone to central politics, and of course there’s the ego driven ones who promise the earth but are simply looking for fame. I’m none of those and it’s my job to convey that.”
Lord wants the voters to understand that he is simply a regular grass-roots Aucklander with the right skill sets to take on the job.
A regular question asked in 2019 was “why should they vote for you?” Lord has a simple response to that.
“I think as a voter. I ask myself what I would want from a Mayor. I don’t have to try to put myself in the voters shoes - I’m already there - I’m one of them. There’s no fake here, no spin, what you see is what you get. I want a Mayor to fight for me - so that’s exactly what I’m offering.”
Lord hasn’t stopped campaigning since the 2019 election, he’s highly active on social media but knows that it’s time to ramp everything up.
“It’s game time. I’ve done the training, and I’m ready to go. The next few months will be all about sharing the message - that no matter who puts their hand up, I’m still the best option.”