Auckland Council returned fire at Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking around the city's cycleways.

During his daily opinion piece yesterday, Hosking addressed the revelation that exaggerated figures were being used to get funding for cycleways.

"Auckland Transport used exaggerated figures to get public money to fund these things," he said.

"In the four business cases the report looks at, exaggeration was seemingly used in all of them.

Advertisement

"Millions upon millions of our dollars was spent on things those of us with a brain, but without an agenda, knew were bollocks."

Newstalk ZB host Mike Hosking tries out a Lime scooter. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Newstalk ZB host Mike Hosking tries out a Lime scooter. Photo / Jason Oxenham

However, beside the hustle and bustle of Quay St, Auckland Council's design champion Ludo Campbell-Reid said cycling is the way of the future.

"Quay Street is at the epicentre of the transformation of Auckland and going forward over the next three years," he said.

"This place is buzzing with activity, with development, with vehicles, with people, with cycling, with e-bikes and e-scooters. The place is literally buzzing with life.

"Cycling is the future of cities and cycling, in fact, is the fastest growing transport mode in world cities today."

Hosking isn't so convinced about the future of cycling, referring to the number of cyclists on Auckland's current cycleways.

"One project projected 1060 bikes per day. In reality it was 680. Another said 980. In reality it was 330. A third said 975. In reality it was 290," he said.

"Even if those original numbers had been right, think about it. Nine hundred bikes a day in a city of 1.5 million people.

"Does 900 bikes justify millions in construction, and more millions in lost productivity, inconvenience, and wasted time?

"Of course it doesn't. Not at the original, potentially fraudulent, invented, finger in the air, exaggerated figures, and certainly not at the real figures."

Auckland Council's design champion, Ludo Campbell-Reid. Photo / Greg Bowker
Auckland Council's design champion, Ludo Campbell-Reid. Photo / Greg Bowker

Firing back at the radio host, Campbell-Reid addressed Hosking's comments and said he was comparing "apples to bananas".

He said Hosking was taking data from 2018 and comparing them with numbers from a 2026 forecast.

Campbell-Reid said the council wasn't building the cycleways because they wanted to, but because locals were telling them to.

"In Auckland, 38 per cent of us cycle ... So, we're building $900 million of cycleways across Auckland's region," he said.

"They're demanding cycling facilities across the region and we're building it for them.

"Get out of your car and get on your bike, Mike. Your children will thank you for it."