Auckland mayoral hopeful John Tamihere is part of a trust lodging a claim against the council he hopes to represent.

But Tamihere, chair of the Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust, says there would be no conflict of interest if the claim against Auckland Council and agency Panuku Development was successful.

Tamihere threatened the council with legal action last year after a meltdown in the relationship with Panuku over the level of social housing developments planned by the Trust on land sold by the council body.

Now it's set to go ahead with the claim relating to a change in Panuku's policy to impose a restriction as to the "maximum percentage or amount of social housing" which could be included as a component of housing units in the proposed residential development.


The claim states the restriction was imposed after the council agreed to sell the property, at Old Tavern Lane, to Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Whenua Ltd, which are part shareholders of the Trust.

The trust wanted the land for development of "affordable residential and
retirement lifestyle housing units in conjunction with easily accessible
connection to transport systems, shopping precinct and medical facilities".

Tamihere said the policy in regards to building new housing, adopted by the current council, "discriminates against superannuants, welfare beneficiaries and Aucklanders earning under $80k per year".

"We all know that a lack of housing in Auckland be it social or affordable low in supply. Council's policy on citizen owned land is discriminatory."

He denied there would be any conflict of interest.

"A conflict would occur if we pretended there was not a breach of the Human Rights Act and that we would look the other way and merely took the money as a developer. A conflict would occur if we breached the human Rights Act after obtaining legal advice that this policy was wrong."

Tamihere said if they won the claim he would not benefit from any claim and any allegation he would, would be defamatory.

"The council was taken to court by Panuku - its owner and has spent several thousand dollars litigating its owner. In what way would you keep Goff honest in this respect?"

As for how he would deal with any possible conundrum if elected Mayor, Tamihere said there wouldn't be one "because I will remove any discriminatory practice".


"The Trust continues to advance social housing projects only because we are aware of the problem of homelessness and if you care to look out your office windows you will see evidence of this on a daily basis."