Auckland mayoral hopeful Vic Crone says while she personally believes humans are contributing to climate change, many Aucklanders don't and their views need to be considered.
During an interview with Auckland newspaper the Western Leader earlier this week, Ms Crone said climate change was "a very contentious debate" and she would need to "sit down and have a thorough briefing" on it, and "have a look at all the facts".
"Of course you've got erosion right across Auckland, in terms of seabed and creeping into beaches and playgrounds and things like that," she told the paper.
"Whether you then say that's because of humans or it's actually a cycle, I'm not going to kind of get drawn into that debate."
For climate scientists there is no debate, but Ms Crone says there definitely is amongst voters.
"As I've been going across Auckland for the past nine months, I can tell you there is a lot of contentious debate amongst Aucklanders as to the cause of climate change and the council's role in that. That's what I was referring to," she told Paul Henry on Thursday.
"I'm not talking about scientists' views here - I'm talking about general Aucklanders."
Asked point-blank if she believes in human-induced climate change, she said she does - but many potential voters don't.
"Aucklanders don't have a consensus view on this. I think that's what we need to build, and it's a real shame that people took out of this that I'm anti - it's not about that. It's about recognising there is a contentious debate out there."
Her rival for the mayoralty Phil Goff said Ms Crone's comments were "a mistake", and Green Party co-leader James Shaw said climate change is "only contentious if you believe that things like chemistry and physics are contentious".
Ms Crone, former managing director of tech company Xero, is likely to come a distant second to Mr Goff. According to an SSI poll commissioned by website The Spinoff he's on 60.3 percent, and she's on 15.5.
"That one's not particularly accurate," Ms Crone told Paul Henry.
She's frustrated it took a "storm in a teacup" over climate change to get her a TV interview.
"I think it will be fantastic if the media in Auckland showed this much fascination around my actual policies."