Goff pledges to put people first
New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has pledged to ‘‘put people first’’ in governing Auckland’s new council.
Goff and most of his 20-member Governing Body were sworn in on Tuesday night at Auckland Town Hall.
Former MT Roskill MP and Labour leader Goff told hundreds of friends, family and dignitaries gathered including Local Government minister Sam Lotu-Iiga Auckland needed to ‘‘access new forms of funding’’ to meet its growth demands.
Afterward, Goff said Auckland’s ‘‘rating system and borrowing system was not designed to cope with Auckland’s growth needs’’.
Goff largely reiterated his election campaign stump speech during his maiden address, wanting to deliver his ‘‘clear and compelling vision for the future of this city’’.
He said it was ‘‘critical’’ the city had in-place infrastructure to deal with Auckland’s expected half million population growth within 10 years.
Congestion was leading to gridlock, and housing supply could not meet demand while home prices have skyrocketed, he said.
The scale of Auckland’s challenges couldn’t be met through Auckland’s ‘‘narrow revenue base’’, Goff said.
Goff was ’’confident’’ central government recognised this, he told the audience.
He reiterated his call for government help bankrolling Auckland’s light rail including the proposed $1.4 billion Dominion Rd route.
Goff also touched on environ- mental initiatives including waterway pollution, waste and electrifying council’s vehicle fleet.
Before thanking outgoing mayor Len Brown, Goff promised a ‘‘fresh start’’ for Auckland’s third council.
‘‘People expect us to work collaboratively in the best interests of the city, leaving aside party politics, personal differences and self-interest.
‘‘The public expects us to maintain our high standards of integrity and behaviour.’’
A rousing overture from New Zealand composer John Psathas welcomed the new Governing Body on stage.
Councillor Desley Simpson in her bright pink outfit and kilted councillor Cathy Casey added a splash of colour to the otherwise dourly dressed Governing Body.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff at the Governing Body inaguration.