Phil Goff: My final pitch to voters

We asked the two leading Auckland mayoral contenders to write a final pitch to voters. This is what Phil Goff wrote. You can read John Tamihere’s pitch here. (Important note: if you’re voting by post, get your papers in the mail today, Tuesday. If you don’t have papers, or can’t get them in the mail today, you can still vote: read this.)

The Spinoff local election coverage is entirely funded by The Spinoff Members. For more about becoming a member and supporting The Spinoff’s journalism, click here.


The outcome of the vote for Auckland Council and the mayoralty this week will determine the shape of our city for the future.

Please don’t leave it to others to make this decision for you. If you haven’t filled out your ballot paper yet and posted it, you need to do it today.

After that you can still vote, you’ll just need to drop it in a ballot box. If you didn’t receive your papers for any reason, you can make a special vote in person.

This election is about what we need to do to make Auckland a world-class and inclusive city.

We are growing rapidly but for years we have not invested in the infrastructure we need to cope with that growth.

As a result we have peak traffic congestion, housing shortages and damage to our environment. Over the last three years we have moved decisively to address these problems.

In our 10 year budget for transport, we increased capital investment by 50% to over $28 billion  and have secured $19 billion of that from central government.

That is being used to complete the City Rail Link, which will double rail capacity, and to build more busways in the East from Panmure to Botany and through to Manukau and the Airport, and in the North to Albany and Orewa. I am also pushing for a busway on the North Western  motorway to Westgate. Light Rail is needed on congested bus routes to Mt Roskill, Onehunga and Māngere.

More investment is needed to complete cycle and walkways, including on the Harbour Bridge, and to let kids cycle safely to schools, diminishing morning peak hour congestion.

Housing starts are four times what they were at the start of the decade and with over 14,000 building consents this year we are starting match growth in growth in population, but have a backlog to catch up. For vulnerable people we need, and are getting 3500 new state houses in Auckland and with our Housing First programme we have housed over 1000 people, nearly half of them children, out of  emergency accommodation, cars, and rough sleeping. We need to, and are, doing more to tackle this problem.

On the environment, a key priority has been to separate storm water from waste water and upgrade our  key waste water interceptor line to stop dilute sewage flowing on to our beaches every time it rains. We hope to largely eliminate this problem within a decade, 20 years ahead of schedule.

We are greening the city with the Mayoral Million Trees programme and have exceeded our target and will plant 50% more native trees in the next term.

Climate change is a critical issue. While Auckland on its own can’t solve this, we need to play our role and ensure government reaches the target for reducing emissions to keep climate warming below 1.5 degrees rise.

Electric buses, a more compact city, and mode shift to public and active transport will help Auckland address the over 40% contribution transport makes to our city’s emissions.

On top of these three critical issues, I am working to ensure that council achieves a billion dollars savings over the decade from implementing our value for money programme and stopping waste and duplication.

I have led the way, cutting the mayors office budget by 39% by taking steps like reducing international travel and not having a chauffeur-driven car.

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We’ve made good progress, but there’s much more to do – and I want to finish the job I’ve started. There is more we need to do to fix our transport, solve our housing problems and protect our beautiful natural environment.

I’m standing to be your mayor again on my record of integrity, skill and experience, hard work and trustworthiness.

I am asking for your support, to work with me in building a better future for Auckland.


The Spinoff local election coverage is entirely funded by The Spinoff Members. For more about becoming a member and supporting The Spinoff’s journalism, click here.


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