Auckland Mayor Phil Goff does not want Wellington running the whole show when local lockdowns are imposed for Covid-19.
The former Labour MP is urging his colleagues in Parliament to break the shackles of centralised bureaucracy and bring local councils to the table.
He would like to see a multi-agency "command centre" set up working with Cabinet ministers and local councils when a local outbreak occurs.
"These command centres should have the ability to make and implement decisions and be agile in their nature," Goff said in a letter to the Minister for Covid-19 Response, Chris Hipkins, and Health Minister Andrew Little.
The letter was penned last Friday before the latest pandemic scare in Northland, which has seen chaotic scenes of people queuing in vehicles for up to 10 hours to get tested for Covid-19.
Rueben Taipari, Tai Tokerau Border Control regional co-ordinator, said Covid checkpoints will be set up on Northland roads because the Government was not doing enough to protect the vulnerable.
In his letter, Goff said one of the most significant issues Auckland faced when it went into a local lockdown in August was decisions being made by agencies in Wellington who did not fully understand things on the ground.
He said this led to a number of issues, including not enough testing sites for Covid.
Other problems included the location and operation of police checkpoints, and businesses unable to get goods in and out of the city because of long delays at checkpoints.
"Can you please provide more information on how these issues have been or will be addressed," Goff asked the ministers.
Last year's two lockdowns - nationwide in March and in Auckland in August - blew a $1 billion hole in the council's accounts. The Auckland lockdown also cost the economy about $440 million per week, according to estimates by the ASB economics team.
"Another level 3 or 4 lockdown would be fatal for a number of businesses affected by diminished tourism, international students and the impact of recession caused by Covid-19," Goff said in his letter.
He said the Government has rightly received much praise for the way it had responded to Covid-19, but while it remains rampant internationally and while we await the rollout of the vaccine, the country is fully prepared to deal with a further outbreak.
A spokesman for Hipkins said the minister is seeking advice from the Ministry of Health about the letter.
"The Government constantly reviews its response and policy settings and seeks improvement at every level. This is important due to the ever-evolving situation changes globally and as we learn more about the virus, including how New Zealand responded to the August cluster," he said.