An Auckland business group has slammed North Shore's Mayor for thanking those in the provinces lumped with a tax to help Auckland's transport woes.
Mayor Andrew Williams on Monday expressed his "heartfelt thanks to people in the provinces for their generous contribution" towards sorting out his region's transport problems.
"This is brilliant news for Auckland that we will not have to fund our rail electrification, ferry upgrades, integrated ticketing and the Penlink causeway solely from fuel taxes taken within the Auckland region," he said.
"I would like to extend my thanks to the people from the likes of Gore, Timaru, Hokitika, Waipukurau, Stratford, Opotiki, and Kerikeri ..."
Newmarket Business Association head Cameron Brewer said Mr Williams' comments were "unnecessarily provocative, patronising, and potentially damaging".
They had set back Auckland's relationship with the rest of the country and were potentially negative for business.
He said rural towns were feeling the pinch now more than ever, and that such arrogance coming from Auckland was a bad look for everyone. "With that in mind Mr Williams needs to apologise for any offence he may have caused."
Southland Mayor Frana Cardno agreed the measure would hurt. "Southlanders have to travel further for day-to-day things, such as school and supermarkets, and businesses have to freight product to and from the provinces."