Goff pledges to put peo­ple first

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SI­MON MAUDE

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.

SI­MON MAUDE / FAIRFAX NZ

Auck­land Mayor Phil Goff at the Gov­ern­ing Body in­agu­ra­tion.

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