2 Nov 2016

Big goals but few specifics in Goff 's maiden mayoral speech

5:54 am on 2 November 2016

Auckland's mayor Phil Goff has been sworn in and has immediately called on the government to do more to solve the city's most pressing problems.

Phil Goff gives his maiden speech to the Auckland Council.

Phil Goff gives his maiden speech to the Auckland Council. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

Mr Goff's maiden speech at the council's inauguration ceremony last night laid out Auckland's well-known challenges, such as housing and transport, but was short on specific promises.

In an 18-minute speech, the new mayor recited issues he'd canvassed throughout his election campaign and set tackling the shortage of housing as a top priority.

"Some of that we can do, but some, such as kick-starting affordable housing and providing sufficient social housing, must come from central government."

Mr Goff also pointed the finger at the government as he seeks new ways to fund the city's transport and infrastructure needs.

"We need central government to play a role, given that the investment we need can't be funded just through rates and borrowing.

"Our laws and funding systems reflect an era when local government was about boroughs and provincial towns, they are not designed for a global city undergoing phenomenal growth."

But in a speech uninterrupted by applause, Mr Goff failed to commit to specific goals.

After the meeting, he told RNZ the issues he'd campaigned on were the "stakes in the ground" for Aucklanders.

"They want the best performing council, they want trust and confidence restored in council, they want something done about congestion and they want something done about housing unaffordability."

"I hope that we can measure the progress that we make, working on things like the Auckland Transport Alignment Programme, and working with government on getting more affordable and social housing," he said.

"Also, looking at what we do in the Annual Plan that we about to embark on, to find efficiencies and to keep rates low and affordable, while getting the investment we need."

Mr Goff will lead his first council meeting this morning, a role he says he's still learning after more than three decades in Parliament.

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