Local boards will control transport issues in their communities and grassroots politicians will sit on planning hearings under a policy from Super City mayoral contender Len Brown.

In his first major policy announcement, the Manukau mayor has promised to extend the roles and functions of local boards beyond those proposed by the agency designing the Super City.

Despite the law stating that all transport matters will be vested in a mega-council-controlled organisation to allocate to politicians as it saw fit, Mr Brown said local boards should be responsible for local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones, bus stops, speed limits and local public transport.

He expected the transport CCO to reflect the will of the people and was confident the mayor and council would prevail when it came to empowering local boards. He acknowledged the council had the ultimate tool of being able to sack directors.

Mr Brown has promised to allow local board members to sit on resource consent hearings in "their own back yard" instead of solely relying on the Super City planning department, which will be on the North Shore.

And he wants local boards to be able to set local policies for dog control, gambling and gaming machines, licensing of cafes, bars and liquor outlets, brothels and the development of town centres within regional frameworks established by the Auckland Council.

Not surprisingly, he endorsed local board participation in issues such as libraries, swimming pools, parks and sports facilities already proposed by the Auckland Transition Agency.

Mr Brown has picked up concerns about the "conservative" level of staffing resources allocated by the Auckland Transition Agency to local boards by ensuring they get adequate support to carry out their business.

"I will be sending a very clear message to the chief executive and management of the Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and other CCOs and councillors that local boards are the heart of democracy in Auckland and should not be fighting for scraps from the council's table," Mr Brown said.

Mr Brown, whose main platform is to unite Auckland, said the policy underlined a commitment to ensure local communities retained their unique identities.

The other heavyweight mayoral contender, Auckland City Mayor John Banks, has not revealed his policy on local boards.

But he has promised to strengthen the voice of local communities.

WHAT HE WANTS BOARDS TO DO

* Set local policies for dog control, gambling and gaming machines, cafe licences, bar and liquor outlets, brothels and town centre development within regional guidelines.

* Be responsible for local roads, footpaths, pedestrian zones, bus stops, speed limits, public transport, crime prevention, as well as local parks, recreation facilities, libraries and pools, community houses, advisory services, galleries and museums, beaches, camping grounds.

* Have members sitting on resource consent hearings.

* Be given staff resources to do the job.