Auckland needs better funding
Mayoral candidate Phil Goff says the Government needs to cough up more funding for Auckland infrastructure, if it wants the New Zealand economy to keep growing.
Goff spoke following comments from his fellow Labour MP Phil Twyford, that Auckland should abolish its rural urban boundary and expand outwards to solve the housing crisis.
Auckland needed to expand both up and out, Goff said.
But if the Government wanted to continue to run a policy that saw 40,000 extra people flowing into Auckland each year, it had to find a way to pay for new infrastructure.
The city was at its debt limit and even modest rate rises would go nowhere near to raising the extra funds required.
‘‘We are growing hugely and the Government, if it wants an open population policy, then has to come to the party and make it possible to fund the infrastructure that population demands.’’
Auckland now represented 35 per cent of New Zealand’s population and economy, and the rest of the country would only succeed if it succeeded, Goff said.
"I think New Zealand has to take a different look at Auckland."
It should be a place where the best and the brightest wanted to live and work.
Two major issues stood in the way of that – transport and housing, Goff said.
Transport congestion costs Auckland $3 billion in lost productivity every year.
He also wanted to see tougher laws on speculators, including extending the two-year period in which property owners attracted capital gains tax if they sold to 10 years.
Goff was speaking alongside rival mayoral candidate Vic Crone at an event held by the South Harbour Business Association in Manukau on May 19.
Asked about Labour’s stance on removing the rural urban boundary to allow for more housing development, Crone agreed the city needed to go both up and out.
But she said people should wait for the new Unitary Plan, the city’s first overall blueprint since amalgamation which is due to come out in August.
‘‘Then we’ll know exactly what we’re playing with,’’ she said.
‘‘You can only form that view (on the rural urban boundary) based on how many houses we will be short.’’