John Tamihere set to run for Auckland mayoralty

2:02 pm on 25 January 2019

Former Labour Party MP John Tamihere looks set to announce he will run for the Auckland mayoralty.

John Tamihere

John Tamihere Photo: Twitter

RNZ understands he will run on a ticket with well-known figures from the left and right of the political spectrum.

Mr Tamihere is set to hold a press conference tomorrow, where he is expected to make the announcement.

It is understood he will run with former Auckland city mayor and ex-National Party MP Christine Fletcher as a US-style running mate. She would eventually become his deputy if he won.

He has been taking advice from left-wing strategist Matt McCarten and former National Party president and advisor Michelle Boag.

He is also Ngāti Porou ki Hauraki chairman.

Mr Tamihere, an urban Māori leader and former Labour Party MP, hinted he may run in September when he hit out at Auckland Council's development arm.

Panuku was "arrogant" and "corrupt" and looking after the rich while ignoring the city's desperate need for social housing, he said at the time.

Ms Fletcher is a current Auckland councillor but once served as the pre-super city Auckland mayor.

She was a National Party MP in the 1990s and is a frequent critic of current mayor Phil Goff.

Mr Tamihere has been involved in many controversies in his political career.

In 2015, he and fellow radio host, Willie Jackson, were accused of victim blaming when they interviewed one of the women caught up in the Roastbusters sexual assault scandal.

Ten years earlier, while serving as a Labour MP, he took extended leave after he made derogatory comments about women and gay people in then-Prime Minister Helen Clark's caucus.

He currently heads the National Urban Maori Authority and is the chief executive of Te Pou Matakana, which makes funding choices for whanau ora.