Auckland’s new mayor promises action on housing, environment

New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has signalled his intention to focus on Auckland’s housing crisis and environmental concerns in his first speech as Auckland’s mayor.

Speaking at his inauguration at Auckland’s Town Hall, Goff described measures for addressing housing affordability as a key priority in implementing his vision of a socially inclusive city.

“We want a city that allows all people to live decent lives, that builds prosperity, celebrates diversity and cherishes and sustains its environment,” says Goff.

Goff said that building more secure, affordable and healthy homes was an urgent priority for the city.

“Each night hundreds of people sleep rough. Kids are living in cars. Families are sleeping in garages. We want our children to grow up in an inclusive and fair community and that starts with secure, affordable and healthy homes.”

Goff said that the Council had a significant role to play in building houses and increasing affordability, and that it needed to do so in partnership with the Government.

“Passing the Unitary Plan was a turning point for our city. We made the decision to go up as well as out, but zoning does not represent development-ready properties.”

“We need access to new forms of funding, we need a best practice consent process and will look at measures to curb land-banking. And we will work with Government to bring more affordable and social housing to Auckland.”

Goff also underlined the importance of protecting, sustaining and enhancing Auckland’s environment saying that reducing carbon emissions was a priority as was protecting Auckland’s harbours.

“Siltation and over-fishing are destroying our marine environment. Our million trees project can help address these issues as can electrification of vehicle fleets, use of technology to provide car sharing and slashing our use of plastic bags.”

He promised to focus on halting further encroachment into Auckland’s harbour and progressively restore public access to the waterfront.

Goff underlined his promise to do more with less, saying the Council would have to use its resources wisely, cut waste and duplication, and he promised to spearhead a change in culture at the Council.

“We are going to become a can-do Council, working with Aucklanders to tackle their problems rather than standing in their way.”