Auckland is a great city.
We treasure our environment. We are diverse, vibrant and prosperous.
It is no wonder that so many people from all over the world, including some 220 different ethnicities, choose to make Auckland their home.
Our population is growing by more than 30,000 people every year.
This growth is welcome but also creates challenges.
We all know what they are: housing affordability, traffic congestion, protecting our environment and looking after our most vulnerable people.
Those challenges can’t stay in the “too hard basket” and we are tackling them head on to keep our City moving.
Hosing on priority
Housing is priority and we are making progress.
In the last 12 months, the Auckland Council issued close to 13,000 consents, a record, and we want to keep up the pace.
We are working with government to deliver Kiwibuild and have recommended changes to legislation to increase the pace and scale of house building in Auckland.
We recently brought forward the delivery of 9000 houses in Milldale with a innovative funding mechanism and have opened-up the development of thousands of new houses via the Housing Infrastructure Fund in Auckland’s South and West.
Watch this space for more.
For our City to thrive, we also need a transport network that gets people from A to B quickly, safely and in a multitude of ways.
To deliver a modern transport system we need to raise money.
Nobody wants to pay more at the pump, but the Regional Fuel Tax is enabling $4.3 billion of expenditure on transport projects that otherwise would not have happened and it is already pulling forward the construction of the Eastern Busway and delivering significant safety improvements such as more red light cameras and rural road signage that will help save lives.
It is a significant part of our record investment in Auckland’s transport infrastructure.
In partnership with government, we are spending $28 billion on modernising our transport system: more rail – including our game-changing underground rail link in the Central City which will strengthen the entire rail network and help decongest our roads – more buses and bus lanes, and safer roads.
I want a City where it is safe and easy to cycle, scoot and walk, complemented by frequent bus and rail services for longer trips.
As part of that vision, we are building 52 kms of cycleways by 2021 and we are building Skypath to link cyclists and pedestrians from the city to the North Shore.
Protecting the environment
As well as transport, we are protecting our stunning natural environment.
Whether it is shifting to all-electric buses, investing $1.4 billion in green and open space for Aucklanders to enjoy or designing a city around walkers and cyclists rather than cars, we want to protect Auckland’s environment for generations to come.
That includes saving our Kauri and cleaning up our harbours and our beaches.
Being able to swim in clean water is a birth-right.
We are taking the steps necessary to make clean beaches a reality by building the central interceptor pipe and fixing storm water infrastructure.
It will make a big difference and we are going to do it in ten years rather than 30 years.
Housing, transport and the environment are critical, but our city is fundamentally about people and I want to help our most vulnerable.
At Auckland Council, I brought in a living wage to make sure those on lower incomes could lead decent lives.
I have focused on housing affordability and I want to end homelessness.
Auckland is a world class, 21st century City. We don’t want people living on our streets.
The Council is funding and working closely with Housing First, getting the vulnerable off our streets and into safe and permanent housing.
We have helped more than 700 people so far, we are aiming for 1000.
Having a big and growing city means complex problems to solve, but this Council is up to the challenge.
We have secured the funding and we have the plans and support of Aucklanders.
The spades are in the ground and the cranes are in the sky.
We are building a truly world class City.
Phil Goff is Mayor of Auckland.*
- The sprawling Metropolis from the office window of Auckland Mayor Phil Goff
- Two Phil a network: Earlier this year, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Housing & Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced a massive $30 billion investment plan to improve Auckland’s transport system.
- Auckland Mayor Phil Goff led a tree-planting campaign in May-June this year