John Tamihere targets Jacinda Ardern in fight to win Auckland more cash

Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere has suggested Jacinda Ardern could lose her seat if she doesn't let the city keep more of its money.

Rates charged by the council incur GST, which goes into the central Government's coffers to spend as it wishes. 

Tamihere says that's $255 million that should be spent on Auckland.

 "If Aucklanders give me the mandate on that policy, there is a general election on the following year and it's a matter of timing," he told Newshub Nation on Saturday.

"The Prime Minister happens to come not to the Prime Ministership directly, but by way of a constituency seat in Auckland, in Mt Albert."

It's likely Tamihere understands that as first on Labour's party list, Ardern would be elected to Parliament even if Auckland locals unhappy they're losing out on GST revenue turned on her.

Funnily enough, incumbent Mayor Phil Goff agrees with Tamihere on this issue - except that it's $270 million Auckland is missing out on.

"Every time council levies a dollar on rates, the Government puts another 15c on and keeps it. I've said to Bill English and to Grant Robertson that's not fair... That is a way in which central Government can devolve funding to local government on a per capita basis. That would make a huge difference."

Tamihere says the difference between them however is he'll get it done.

"I'm not a puppet to central Government." 

In return, Goff said "going down there and banging your fist on the desk and demanding things [won't work] because 65 percent of New Zealanders don't live in Auckland".

The mayoral election is in October.



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