Mayoral candidate John Palino has announced he is withdrawing from the mayoral contest because he wants to give John Tamihere "the best chance to win".
"I am withdrawing from the Mayoral contest because I want to give John Tamihere the best possible chance of providing Auckland with the strong leadership it badly needs," Palino said.
He says he will continue to stand for the Franklin Ward because he has long-standing associations with it but could not do both.
It's a decision he has been considering "for some time", he says.
"I have come to the conclusion that change is needed so drastically that my candidature for Mayor could prejudice the opportunity to make real change," Palino said.
In his announcement he slammed current mayor Phil Goff, saying he had no idea what was really happening in Auckland and that for him to continue in his current role would be a disaster for the people of Auckland.
"He has presided over a city that is simply not coping with the challenges that we have in terms of public transport demands, traffic congestion, lack of infrastructure for housing developments and his oversight of the CCOs, where he has allowed unaccountable bureaucrats to run amok," Palino said.
Palino, a former South Auckland business owner, said he still believed he could continue making a useful contribution to the leadership of Auckland by standing in the Franklin Ward, "having lived in Pukekohe for years and having seen the area grow and develop to become a thriving centre for Aucklanders and their families.
"However, the lack of infrastructure for new housing projects, the inability to understand that people who live in Franklin need to use their cars and the congestion that afflicts those who live in Franklin as they try to commute to the city are a truly awful indictment of their local councillor."