National leader Judith Collins has taken aim at Auckland Council, vowing to review the organisation's performance and singling out Watercare and Auckland Transport (AT) for special attention.
In an extended Leaders Breakfast interview this morning with Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB, Collins described AT as "arrogant" and said Aucklanders deserved better from the nation's biggest council.
"I have a particular beef with Auckland Transport, I just think it's destroyed the central city," said Collins, who criticised cycle lanes in her electorate and what she claimed was the organisation's desire to "make everything cycling or walking".
If National took power after the general election, it would launch an inquiry into Auckland Council in its first 100 days of government - in particular council-controlled organisations, including AT and Watercare.
Auckland Council Mayor Phil Goff declined to comment this morning on Collins' criticisms.
"The Mayor doesn't intend to comment on campaign policies by central government politicians," a mayoral office spokesman said.
"The current record investment in Auckland and its infrastructure is much needed after decades of underspend."
During a two-hour interview this morning, Collins claimed AT operated with a sense of arrogance and "want to make everything cycling or walking", which was fine, until people needed to get shopping or children home.
"These guys can't sort themselves out, we are going to have to do it ... it is the number one issue when we go around Auckland ... it is a huge brake on the economy in Auckland."
She claimed an "extensive review" was needed to ensure the council and CCOs were "fit for purpose".
"Auckland Council is not delivering for Aucklanders, and change is overdue to achieve better performance, which National will do," Collins said.
"Everywhere I go in Auckland, there is frustration and dismay at the council. Its own polling shows only one-in-four Aucklanders were satisfied with its performance over the past 12 months."
National's review would recommend options to dramatically improve the organisations' performances.
It would be completed by September 1, 2021, with new legislation in place before the 2022 local body elections.
"With our economy under tremendous pressure, we can't afford to have our largest local government arrangement with such low performance," Collins said.
"Aucklanders deserve to see their money and their city better served. We believe Auckland's congestion can be reduced and it can have a bright future."
An AT spokesman this morning referred comment to Goff.