The Auckland mayoral office has hosed down a claim by former Waitakere Mayor Sir Bob Harvey that he is the new ambassador for the Super City.

Speaking on TV3's Paul Henry show this morning, Sir Bob said it was "a bit of something that needs to be done".

He said the role would involve investment. "There is a terrific parcel of things we should be talking to foreign investors with," he said.

Within minutes of Sir Bob announcing his new role, a mayoral spokesman said "there have been discussions with Sir Bob about potential roles with Auckland Council once his tenure at Waterfront ends but nothing more at this stage".


Sir Bob has been chairman of the council¬controlled organisation(CCO) Waterfront Auckland since 2010, but is stepping down when it merges with the council's property arm to create a new CCO, Development Auckland, in September.

The role of foreign investment is largely overseen by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development(Ateed), which has a former senior executive, Grant Jenkins, based in London, and a staff member, Pam Ford, based in San Francisco with New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade(MFAT).

Mr Jenkins' role is costing ratepayers about $230,000 for an initial 12-month contract.

Most of Ms Ford's salary is being paid by MFAT, although figures released under the Official Information Act show ratepayers paid $35,484 for an accommodation supplement between April 2014 and February 2015.

Ateed also has an officer, Edwina Mason, based in Melbourne to secure conferences for the city.

Her salary is funded by the Auckland Convention Bureau.

In the first term of the Super City, councillor and Olympian Sir John Walker was appointed by Mayor Len Brown as the city ambassador.

Councillor George Wood, who chairs the council committee overseeing economic development, said he was not privy to any appointment of Sir Bob to the role of city ambassador.


"This is a major departure from the normal role of council to appoint someone to a role like this, if it is correct," Mr Wood said.