John Tamihere slams Phil Goff's 'most unusual' rates hike promise

Auckland mayoral hopeful John Tamihere has admitted being confused by rival Phil Goff's campaign launch.

"It's most unusual to come out and declare that you're going to run for Mayor, but you're running on a tax-and-spend platform," Mr Tamihere told Newshub on Sunday. "I don't get it."

Mr Goff announced his intention to run in an article in the Herald on Sunday, proposing rate increases of around 3.5 percent - higher than the 2.5 percent hikes he ran in his first term as Mayor.

"I guess we all want to go to heaven but none of us want to die," he told the paper.

"I think it's the responsible thing to do to keep rates at a level where some Aucklanders who are under pressure can still afford to pay for their rates but to still deliver the things that our city desperately needs."

Both Mr Goff and Mr Tamihere are former Labour Party colleagues, but since his membership application was rejected, Mr Tamihere says he's the only "independent" running now.

"I think Phil's a puppet for central government. I'm the only independent running. You've been fooled once - don't be fooled again."

Technically, there's another independent candidate - John Palino. But Mr Tamihere either isn't aware of the restaurateur's third tilt at the mayoralty, or doesn't think he's got a chance.

"It's only a two-person race at the moment."

John Tamihere.
John Tamihere. Photo credit: Waipareira Trust/supplied

Mr Tamihere also told Newshub Auckland Transport is "totally out of control" with its plans to lower speed limits across parts of the city.

"If you are directly hit by a vehicle travelling at 30km/h, the probability of death is around 10 percent," Auckland Transport chief executive Shane Ellison said in November. "If you are hit directly at 40km/h, the probability of death jumps to 32 percent and if directly hit at 50km/h, the probability of death goes up to 80 percent."

But Mr Tamihere's having none of that.

"To apply a 30km/h speed limit on 700km of roading around Auckland, even the AA have indicated that will cause congestion, rather than anything else."

Mr Goff will officially announce his candidacy on Sunday afternoon. Mr Tamihere announced his candidacy in January, and will have former National Party MP and Auckland Mayor Christine Fletcher as his running mate.