John Tamihere doubles down on controversial comments, calls Goff 'little Hitler'

John Tamihere and Phil Goff.
John Tamihere and Phil Goff. Photo credit: Supplied

John Tamihere has doubled down on his Nazi-related comments, calling Phil Goff a "little Hitler".

The Auckland mayoral candidate made the remark on Magic Talk on Thursday during a debate between the two potential city leaders.

In a rapid-fire question segment, host Ryan Bridge asked the two candidates a series of questions about Auckland, such as if they knew the average salary of an Auckland worker.

Another question dealt with the city's nightlife.

"You're drinking in Ponsonby, K Rd, you're out for a night out, it's 2:45am - where do you go?" Bridge asked.

Goff weighed in first, saying, "You go to the Chapel, don't you?"

"I've got fond memories of the Chapel, I'm not sure about John," he said, referring to the Chapel Bar, where a recent mayoral debate with the two was held.

It was at that debate that Tamihere made a controversial comment referencing a Nazi salute.

"I've got great memories of the Chapel, it's one of the best speeches I've ever made," Tamihere said.

At that debate, when Goff was asked what he wished for the grandchildren of Auckland, he said he wanted to grow up in an inclusive, diverse city.

"We won't put up with the sort of nonsense we get from racists coming into this country to tell us that multiculturalism doesn't work."

Goff said his soon-to-be-born grandson, who is of mixed-race parentage, will represent the future of Auckland.

Tamihere then commented: "Well I say Sieg Heil to that."

When Bridge asked him why he made that comment, Tamihere replied, "Oh Phil's a little Hitler. It's as simple as that."

Asked if he regretted that comment, he said, "not at all - 100 percent not at all".

"Out on my street our people, the New Zealand Division fought Nazi Germany so we could come back here and express ourselves - free expression of speech. Free and unfettered, without fear or without favour. And I'm not having little Hitler tell people what they can say, when they can say it and where they can say it."

Goff then chimed in, saying, "Let's get it straight, it was a bizarre comment and it just showed what a loose canon this guy is."


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