Auck­land needs bet­ter fund­ing

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MARIA SLADE

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.’’

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