Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has bid the city's top jock, Mike Hosking, farewell from the City of Cones.
Opening a new cycleway project, Goff said of Hosking's threatened departure: "It will be a good thing for him and for us."
Newstalk ZB host Hosking last week wrote a column in the Herald, saying he was thinking of leaving town because of the roadworks that, among other things, stop him getting to the hairdresser.
Hosking had discussed this at some length at home and said he had come to the sad reality that Auckland was a city run by idiots, the ideologically dangerous and dysfunctional.
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Auckland was an ugly disorganised inefficient mess, mused the Newstalk ZB breakfast host.
"I am thinking of Queenstown, Los Angeles or Sydney . . . all right now appear immeasurably more appealing," he wrote.
Speaking this morning at the sod-turning ceremony for a new $14.4 million cycleway on Tamaki Drive, Goff said Hosking is leaving town and "we bid him farewell".
"It will be a good thing for him and for us," Goff said to cheers of laughter from the audience that included Transport Minister Phil Twyford, transport officials, cyclists and local politicians.
Orange road cones are already in place for the Tamaki Drive cycleway, which is set to begin construction by the end of the month and take eight months.
In order to avoid traffic disruption, AT is planning to reduce the four lanes of traffic to three and operate two lanes into the city during the morning peak from 6am to 10am, and two lanes heading east during the evening peak from 3pm to 7pm.
Single lanes will operate outside these times.
Orakei councillor Desley Simpson said she had received a promise from AT that traffic would flow normally under the system, saying there will be "hell to pay" if there is disruption to the 30,000-plus vehicles who use Tamaki Drive every day.
Tamaki Drive is Auckland's busiest route for cycling, averaging more than 1500 trips a day.