John Tamihere has slammed what he calls an "anti-car" strategy at Auckland Transport and has vowed if elected mayor to sack the board.

The mayoral candidate unveiled the policy in a digital billboard campaign stating "JT is coming. Sack the AT board".

In a media release Tamihere said he would replace the board with directors who "understand their obligation is to the people of Auckland, rather than to the ideological bullies who have gained control of Auckland's transport policy under Phil Goff's weak leadership".

A spokesman for Phil Goff's mayoral campaign however questioned the policy, saying Tamihere "needs to learn how the city works", as the mayor did not have the power to unilaterally sack a CCO board.


"He might also want to consult with his running mate on this who, as deputy chair of the Appointments Committee, supported every recent appointment to the Auckland Transport board."

Tamihere said he supported public transport, but that AT had no mandate to "harass people out of their cars".

"Goff is determined to turn Auckland into the city of snails."

Mayoral candidate John Tamihere's digital billboard campaign unveiled Wednesday evening. Photo / Supplied
Mayoral candidate John Tamihere's digital billboard campaign unveiled Wednesday evening. Photo / Supplied

He pointed to council policies to narrow roads, reduce speed limits, take away parking spaces, left hand turns, change traffic light patterns to favour people over cars, and "destroy communities like St Heliers".

AT has come under fire for its plans in the seaside village, which locals say will affect businesses.

It has proposed 13 raised zebra crossings, a new traffic island, widening part of Tamaki Drive and removing 40 car parks - all aimed to improve safety for people walking, cycling and driving.

The proposals sit alongside a separate proposal by AT for a 30km/h speed limit on Tamaki Drive outside St Heliers village.

Tamihere said Aucklanders could not wait for Goff's announcement of a review of council-controlled organisations in 12 months.


"He's had three years and done nothing, and the last thing we need is another 'review'. It's time someone stood up to these ideological bullies, and today I'm doing that."

Tamihere referred to what he called an "anti-car" strategy led by Auckland Council's design champion Ludo Campbell-Reid, and said the organisation was making "lots of small changes in order to avoid consultation".

"Where was the mandate for that strategy? How has one non-elected official and his team of 'we know what's best for you' bullies been able to implement a deliberate 'anti-car' strategy, taking control of billions of dollars of Auckland ratepayers' money?"

Tamihere also questioned the removal of two councillors from the AT board in 2016, and called on Goff not to make any further appointments to the board this close to an election.

Tamihere said if elected mayor he would be consulting with councillors on suitable replacements.