Mayor positive on local issues

Phil Goff. Times photo Kelly Teed

A near-full house turned up to hear Auckland Mayor Phil Goff speak at the Howick Residents and Ratepayers Association AGM at Fencible Lounge on Saturday.

Local candidates from National, Labour and the Green Party were also there to voice their policies.

Mr Goff spoke on the progress being made on the AMETI transport project, wastewater and housing but admitted there is still a long way to go.

He then faced tough questions from the audience on a variety of topics, including the Resource Management Act, and spoke carefully around the topic of the Stockade Hill views.

Mr Goff said he was under strict confidentiality orders on the topic of the Stockade Hill appeal but said that a decision was expected in about a fortnight.

He said local and central government have a better working relationship than ever before – but said the council needed more autonomy when it comes to fixing Auckland issues.

Mr Goff said in order to fix Auckland’s challenges, rates would need to increase by 26 per cent — but that wouldn’t happen under his watch.

“I’m not going to do that, councillors are not going to vote for that and you won’t tolerate it — but we need a source of funding,” he said.

He said central government needs to do more but Aucklanders need to put “skin in the game” as well.

Mr Goff said he was in favour of a user pays system and said he would welcome the conversation with any government as to how to broaden the revenue base.