10 Oct 2016

Aucklanders' shopping list for Goff: housing and transport

6:07 am on 10 October 2016

It's pouring with rain but the Avondale market is packed with shoppers from all over the city stocking up on cheap fruit, Asian vegetables and an assortment of plastic bric-a-brac.

The suburb sits in the New Lynn electorate, which alongside Mt Roskill, has long been a Labour stronghold.

Mayor elect Phil Goff, who takes first steps in the job today after his weekend election win, is well known and well liked in these parts and most shoppers were pretty clear what his top priorities should be.

"Housing and transport are both big issues for Auckland," one stall owner said, selling dumplings from his truck.

"The housing crisis, definitely," said a man pushing a baby in a pram while balancing a large sack of potatoes in his hands. "I see a lot of people affected by it so it would be nice to see the mayor do something about that."

"Aucklanders having access to affordable housing is the biggest thing for me ... and transport," Annaliese Johnston from Mangere said.

"We need to become a sustainable city, not relying on our cars. We need to be looking at how we are doing housing as a city so that people have access to good affordable housing. That does mean some form of intensification, but I think we can do intensification well," she said.

Across town, at La Cigale French Market in Parnell, the fruit and vegetables are slightly fancier - but the issues deemed most important for the new mayor to tackle are the same.

"Housing is such a big problem in Auckland. It's so embarrassing and sad to see people living in cars and being forced to seek the support of local marae. We need affordable social housing really really soon," Simon Day from Titirangi said.

Although he voted for Chloe Swarbrick, Mr Day said Mr Goff's political experience would make him a good mayor.

"I think it's a really exciting opportunity to create the momentum that Auckland needs to have that engagement with Wellington because it's such a big swiftly growing city that we can't do this on our own."

While addressing the housing crisis was top of the list for Mr Goff to tackle first, improving the city's roads and public transport links was also front of mind for many.

"I'd love to see an extension of the road network. He's certainly talked a lot about it but whether he can actually deliver on what he's partly promised, it will be nice to see," said Grey Lynn resident Scott Armit.

Ollie Mikosza, who lived in the city centre, expressed disappointment at the lack of political will to build more public transport and also in the ballooning costs of the City Rail Link.

"Unfortunately, Mr Goff like all his predecessors are completely ignorant about the transport problems - even though it was one of his key issues that he campaigned on," he said.

Housing and public transport should be top priorities for the new mayor, agreed Brian Poffley from Onehunga, who also voted for Chloe Swarbrick.

However, he didn't have much confidence in the new mayor or council to tackle these issues.

"Look at the mess the city's in. We really need someone who can think ahead and not think so much of high finance and making developers millions, but just making ordinary lives for ordinary people."

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