Sir Bob Harvey says 'poor' Elton John, Aucklanders deserves better after AT suggests commuters drive to Mt Smart Stadium

  • 27/01/2023

Former Waitākere Mayor Sir Bob Harvey says Elton John and Aucklanders deserve better after the city's transport authority encouraged people to drive to the music icon's two concerts this weekend.

Auckland Transport (AT) outraged ticketholders to Sir Elton's shows after cancelling all trains to and from Penrose Station near host venue Mt Smart Stadium during both concerts due to the rail network rebuild.

Instead, AT urged all concert-goers to walk or drive to the venue.

There are 700 free car parks available, the transport agency said.

The problem? There are 40,000 people attending.

Sir Bob, speaking on AM's panel, said AT needed to take a hard look at itself.

Sir Bob.
Sir Bob. Photo credit: AM

"Auckland Transport should seriously look at what they're doing to us, poor Elton and his last tour… nightmare, chaos," he said. "Not good."

He said Sir Elton and concert attendees deserved a "great treat" for his last New Zealand shows.

"We deserve better than this. We are a bloody great city, how come we're so badly, badly treated?" 

Throwing the bad weather forecast into the mix, Newshub reporter Alice Wilkins said it was a "disaster".

"Seven-hundred parks available for 40,000 people? The maths isn't adding up here," she said, appearing on AM's panel alongside Sir Bob. "I just think it's going to be a disaster getting there, it's always a disaster leaving a concert anyway - it's going to be pouring down with rain. You're going to be soggy, soaked, grumpy."

AT's decision was under fire from Transport Minister Michael Wood, who described it as "pretty weird".

Wood. Photo credit: AM

Big events such as Sir Elton's concert should be used to encourage, not discourage public transport use, he said.