Is he running for mayor or Minister Steven Joyce’s job?
And so yesterday Labour MP Phil Goff formally announced his candidacy to run for Auckland Mayor next year and the Westhaven based Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron base (make of that as you will).
I was not at the launch but saw what was a hodge-podge attempt through Twitter in trying to line things up with Goff’s speech.
One thing National does execute well that Goff needs to learn is this:
- Speech auto-released either just before or just after it is given into the Social Media realm
- Info-graphics with one liners at the ready for Tweeting and Facebooking while speech is given
- A website and Facebook page ready to go and a proper Twitter hashtag that means something?
- Periscope the speech
- Presser with main points released soon after the speech is given
Now a copy of the speech has gone up on the Herald website thanks to Bernard Orsman. I am going to go through it section by section on my thoughts.
Phil Goff’s speech – ‘For a better Auckland’
Thank you all for coming today.
The launch held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron base at Westhaven just outside the City Centre rather than the Trusts Stadium in West Auckland or the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau where National have held launches before. Also of note before the speech started Goff did give a big shout out to our Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse who was present at the launch. Make all of that as you will.
Today I am announcing my candidacy for the Auckland Mayoralty.
I’m standing for Mayor because I believe that together we can create a better Auckland. A city where talent and enterprise can thrive – whether you’re a hip-hop artist, a scientist, a tradie or a businessperson. A city where we care about each other, our environment and our way of life. That’s the city I want to lead.
Okay and this is where I got confused. Are we running for Mayor Phil or we running for Minister Steven Joyce’s job who is the Minister for the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment.
I owe a lot to Auckland. I was born in Mt Eden and was raised in Three Kings and Papatoetoe. I studied at Auckland University and taught there and at AUT. I helped pay my way through school and university by working in Otahuhu at Westfield Freezing Works. That was another level of education.
For three decades I have enjoyed the privilege of representing Aucklanders from Mt Roskill and New Lynn in Parliament. I thank them for their support.
Mary and I have raised our three children in this city. Today, all three of them live and work here. Mary and I, and a dog named Belle, live on a small farm in Ardmore. We love Auckland and appreciate all the good things about the city. For us, it’s enjoying the countryside, fishing and relaxing at Orere Point, or catching a concert in the city.
So Goff lives in Ardmore – Southern Auckland which is the Franklin Ward and Papakura electorate if not Hunua electorate (both held by National MPs). It also means Goff lives about 7-mins away from where I live in the Manurewa-Papakura Ward.
Over the years, I have seen Auckland grow and change. It has become more diverse and dynamic. As the city has grown so too have the opportunities and choice for learning, work and recreation. We are an internationally competitive city and the best chance New Zealand has to attract and keep talented people in this country.
A million Kiwis live overseas on a long-term basis. On average, about 50,000 of our best and brightest people leave every year. Auckland is the place that can attract those Kiwis back here to live and raise their families.
Ummm again Phil we running for Mayor or Joyce’s job as the Minister for MBIE who’s main job is to attract Kiwi’s back here and foster businesses to Auckland/New Zealand as well.
The late scientist and entrepreneur Sir Paul Callaghan talked of making New Zealand a place where talent wanted to live. He got it absolutely right.
My vision is of Auckland unleashing itself as a creative, innovative and entrepreneurial city. It should be a centre of learning and a centre of culture. A city rich in diversity and proud of its Maori, Pasifika, European, Asian and other heritage. A place that attracts and nurtures talent and enterprise. As we grow, we must be a city where trade and investment can thrive. Where business is easy to do.
Same question as above although that said Auckland is a very diverse City with a rich Heritage spanning back a long time.
This is a city that should be producing more high-tech, high-paid jobs. New Zealand is 6th in the world in publishing high-tech research reports. But it’s only 63rd in high-tech manufacturing output. We need measures to promote R&D investment and venture capital to translate good ideas into successful and job creating export enterprises.
We want more places like the Media Design School which is the number one ranked 3D animation, visual effects and game development school in the Asia Pacific Region. Or Auckland University’s Power Electronics Group which has produced world leading technology for charging electric cars by induction.
Right Phil that is all very nice and would make a good chapter in the Auckland Economy section of the Auckland Plan. But the main priorities to Aucklanders first and foremost is this:
- Where to Live
- Where are the employment centres
- And how the heck do we move around the City without parking on the Southern Motorway an hour each way
Once these questions are answered then we can settle into the attracting of all that stuff you mention earlier otherwise we wont be even ABLE to attract those businesses and talent if they have nowhere to live, no employment centres to work from and no viable way in getting around a geographically constrained city.
There’s a lot to attract good people and good enterprises to Auckland. We have a beautiful natural environment, framed by our spectacular coastline, harbours, our maunga, islands and regional parks. Those are assets that must be respected and protected for generations to come.
We need to make Auckland a place where our urban environment and lifestyle matches the quality of our natural environment. Good urban design and protecting our green open spaces is vital as the city intensifies.
Might have wanted to mention the Unitary Plan here as it is the rule book that will oversee our planning that enables what you want as said above.
We must be an inclusive city. Where diversity brings richness not division. A place where people don’t have to live in gated communities with poverty and homelessness on their doorstep. Where people can earn an income they can actually live on. A place where every Aucklander can reach their full potential.
I wonder if Phil realises the Geographic distinctness of Auckland and how it operates (see more here:Suburbs: What Are Their Relationships within a City?). Auckland can be divided into three broad sub-regions each with their own unique Geography. Those sub regions are:
- Isthmus-West Auckland (reason I link the two is West Auckland’s dependence on the Isthmus for employment)
- The North (North Shore, Albany and Rodney
- The South (Otahuhu from Portage road south and includes Howick, Pakuranga, Botany and Flatbush)
To realise this vision, we must confront the challenges head-on. While we have made progress, we have also missed valuable opportunities. Mayor Robbie was right all those years ago. We needed to anticipate the future and plan for it. Instead, too often, we have responded after the event and continue to do so.
Our infrastructure has not kept up with growth. Our roads are congested. Without the investment we need, the gridlock will just get worse, causing even more frustration, pollution and lost productivity.
Least Phil recognises that.
We need to do more than just finish the motorway network. We need to get on with the city rail link to double passenger capacity and deal with congestion at Britomart. We need light rail on the isthmus, in the East and out to the airport. We need more busways like the Northern Expressway. We need greater ability for people to walk and to cycle safely to school and work. That’s how kids used to get to school.
Oh crap Phil you might want to read up on a few things:
- City Rail Link
- Light Rail on the Isthmus
- Heavy Rail from Otahuhu to the Airport (Airport Line)
- Light Rail that is the Botany Line
- The Busway is called the Northern Busway
- North Western Busway
Funding for this infrastructure can’t just come out of rates. Auckland pays its fair share and will continue to do so. But the Government must also provide funding to meet the needs of growth. After all, a large portion of the Government’s revenue comes from taxes paid by Aucklanders. It must bring the funding forward to anticipate future needs rather than waiting until gridlock paralyses this city.
This is an investment that will pay dividends to all of New Zealand in the future. Auckland must succeed for New Zealand to succeed.
It’ll be my job as Mayor to make sure that message gets through.
Standard stuff there.
It’s the same for housing. Median house prices in Auckland have gone up by over $180,000 in the last year. The Kiwi dream of owning your own home is slipping out of the reach of more and more Aucklanders. We are now in the world’s top ten least affordable cities.
There are ways to bring supply and demand in housing back into balance and Auckland should be strongly advocating for those solutions. Policies that give the building industry confidence and certainty to gear up for construction. Policies that put home buyers ahead of speculators. More intensive housing in the city and along arterial routes is needed. But that must be balanced by good urban design, plenty of public open space and protection for areas of high heritage value.
Phil did you read a little thing that we know as the 7,000 page Unitary Plan that is currently undergoing hearings? Because those lines above indicate you have not.
We need to enhance and sustain our environment. We should be opening up our harbours to people, not extending the port further into the Waitemata to create parking spaces for imported cars. We have to address pollution, silting in the Gulf and harbours and protect our access to recreational fishing. We need an urban forestry programme to green our city.
Well that has my attention about the forestry program. Seems that under Mayor Goff our golf courses will become urban forests. No opposition from me there.
As for the Port Phil I recommend visiting South Auckland where some 5,000 jobs and $500m worth of economic benefits from the Port’s activities on the Waterfront hinge. It will not be your call about the Port but those of the South and the West (who work in the South) and to be blunt their’s ALONE. If we decide the Port goes it goes.
Last but absolutely not least, for Auckland to succeed, it must operate effectively and efficiently. The Super City was supposed to eliminate bureaucratic duplication and waste. It’s fallen short of that target.
Council spent half a million dollars on two reports released last week saying we should privatise our strategic assets. That was a waste. Aucklanders don’t want that. Privatising Watercare would double water charges to Aucklanders. I won’t let that happen.
Under my leadership, we will be fiscally prudent. We will learn to do more with less. Rate increases have to be brought under control and offset by cutting waste and finding savings.
Well there goes the Neo-Liberal bent there for those on the Isthmus and North Shore folks. Under Brown we have had multi-millions in savings and Rates only jumped due to high valuation on property increases. As for privatisation? Good to see opposition on that right from the get go.
We need to put our own house in order and make Auckland New Zealand’s best performing city. When we do that, we are in a stronger position to leverage Government resources to meet the needs created by rapid growth.
As Mayor, I will bring new leadership, energy, integrity, and commitment.
Auckland needs someone with skills and political experience. Thirty years as an MP and Cabinet Minister has given me a unique set of skills. I’ve led teams of diverse people and led large organisations tackling complex issues on tight budgets.
I know how central government works and what it takes to make it responsive to our needs. I don’t pretend to have all the answers – no one does. But I have a record of sound judgement and doing the job I am entrusted with.
I am running as an Independent. I want to bring an inclusive approach to the Mayoralty and forge a team that works well together for the benefit of this city.
The solutions to our city’s problems are not ideological. They must be evidence-driven. I will work with any Government, National or Labour led, to get the best deal for Auckland. The interests of the city and its people will come first. And I will be their fiercest advocate.
And this is why the right-wing Residents groups were not invited (and got upset) given their white-anting often seen through the Ratepayers Alliance. I wouldn’t want those groups their either after some fringe stuff presented to the Unitary Plan Hearings Panel including calling them villains.
Above all, I want to lead a council that remembers that it is a public, democratic and transparent institution – and accountable to Aucklanders.
It is still 10 months before Aucklanders cast their votes. Today is about announcing my candidacy, not launching my campaign. That’ll happen much closer to the election when I set out my policy platform.
Maybe it’s just me but I think Goff should have focused on:
- Auckland Plan
- Unitary Plan
- Long Term Plan (otherwise known as Rates and expenditure)
All are very topical right now and all affect us one way or the other which consequences being how well we perform as a City and attract that talent Goff kept hammering about.
But in the meantime, know that I understand being Mayor of Auckland is a huge and demanding challenge.
It is also a privilege, a privilege to help to make a difference, and to help to create a better Auckland, so this city is world leading in the quality of life it offers its people.
I’m working for a better Auckland.
A city where talent and enterprise will thrive.
A city that preserves what is good and adapts to meet the challenges of the future.
This city that we call home.
The great city of Auckland.
And today, I ask you to join me.
The hashtag is #
So what do you think?