Auckland mayoral candidate Vic Crone has been criticised for claiming that the science around man-made climate change remained contentious.
Remember when Auckland's 2nd place Mayor candidate didn't believe in man-made climate change? That was now. pic.twitter.com/ImRYrEV5Ba— Tim Batt (@Tim_Batt) September 14, 2016
In a video web interview with the Western Leader newspaper earlier this week, she was asked whether human activity was causing climate change and sea level rises. Ms Crone responded that whether it was because of humans or was a cycle, she wasn't going to get drawn into the debate.
"That's a very contentious debate, so look for me it's around if I am elected your mayor to then sit down and have a thorough briefing on how that relates to all the council services, have a look at all the facts around that and then go from there.''
She did concede that there were issues with erosion across Auckland, with the seabed "creeping into beaches and playgrounds".
"Whether you say that's because of humans or it's actually a cycle I'm not going to kind of get drawn into that but there are areas where the environment is changing and absolutely council will need to keep on top of that and be designing communities and services with that in mind absolutely.''
NZ Tech entrepreneur Derek Handley said he was "very shocked" by Ms Crone's climate change comments.
"As someone who cares about the future of the environment, and the city, especially a city that's on the sea, it's very dangerous to have a position that doesn't accept that climate change is real, and that it's man-made, and that there's significant evidence.
"I think it's at odds with where everyone is, we're here now, we get it. The people who are alive now get that this is a real thing.
It's about emmissions, it's about carbon, about pollution - everything that creates a heat sink in the atmosphere. It's about rising sea levels, it's about our Pacific neighbours - some of those countries are destined to disappear.
"These are real things, and if you're gonna run for the office of the biggest city in New Zealand, I think you need to have a real grasp of these real things."
Ms Crone's views on the issue have been condemned on social media:
attention vic crone. if u need to understand global warming plz come to london and I will explain it to u on the tube if we don't melt first— Jono Hutchison (@jonohutchison) September 14, 2016
"Humans warming the Earth? That's contentious, Vic Crone says." That is a very good reason to dismiss her as a serious candidate immediately— Devonport Speculator (@Speculad) September 14, 2016
i'd tell Vic Crone to get in the sea but climate change will bring the sea to her— awkward orchid (@awkward_orchid) September 14, 2016