Auckland Mayor Len Brown says there is much to learn for Auckland from his attendance at a global climate change conference in Paris this month.
Mr Brown is leading a five-member council delegation to the conference. He is part of the official New Zealand Government delegation.
He said he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with city leaders from around the world in Paris to collectively make it clear they would not tolerate the barbaric killing of innocents.
Councillors George Wood and Dick Quax said Mr Brown should not travel to Paris, but stay in Auckland to attend to local matters.
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Said Mr Wood: "This is an important time of year for council. Over the past months we have been working on the annual plan to give some political feedback to the mayor for his consideration prior to him presenting the mayoral budget. It's totally inappropriate that at this time he has decided to head off to Paris for a climate change forum".
Mr Quax said setting the budget should take priority over international junkets.
"The mayor has just one year left in his mayoralty and to me and some of my colleagues it appears that he has completely abandoned Auckland to attend a climate change meeting of dubious merit especially when one considers that the government is sending a delegation because it sets the policy framework for climate change not a local mayor," Mr Quax said.
Mr Brown said climate change was a critical issue for Auckland's future with a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2040.
The mayor's annual scorecard across a number of measures over the past year showed a deterioration in greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater quality and air quality. Marine water quality improved.
Last year, it was revealed that Mr Brown's Holden Calais V6 limousine had a carbon footprint more than 70 per cent bigger than some alternative vehicles. He dismissed an electric car as too small for carrying up to five adults and providing space to work.
Mr Brown said his travel costs were being covered by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Environment, Climate Changes and Natural Heritage committee chairman Wayne Walker and council's overseas investment champion Sir Bob Harvey are paying their own costs to attend the conference.
The other members of the council party are chief sustainability officer John Mauro and mayoral environment portfolio manager Dr Megan Howell.