Phil Goff has revealed his $26.2 billion plan to fix Auckland over the next 10 years.
The so-called “build-it budget” tackles what the mayor calls “critical issues” of traffic congestion, housing affordability and protecting the environment.
Transport investment will take a $12 billion share of the money, covered by an average rates increase of 2.5 percent over the next two years and 3.5 percent from then on. Forty-three billion dollars will come from the Regional Fuel Tax.
Mr Goff says Auckland “must adapt” to climate change, giving $40 million towards a response fund, and another $90 million for coastal asset management.
Another $452 million will be set aside to clean waterways and beaches which have taken a hit in recent weather events.
Auckland’s sewage-contaminated beaches have no warning signs
“This will reduce wastewater overflows into our harbours by up to 90 percent and allow us to do in 10 years what would normally have taken 30,” Mr Goff says.
The Southern Initiative, which works to increase employment and life skills for young Aucklanders, will be expanded into west Auckland using $475,000.
Sports and recreation facilities will receive $120 million with an additional $20 million funding for the Auckland Art Gallery, which Mr Goff calls a “major visitor attraction”.
Mr Goff says the budget will “get Auckland moving”, saying the city has “too long… suffered from underinvestment”.
“Unprecedented population growth has placed significant pressure on our city. Our priorities, therefore, must be to provide infrastructure needed for transport, housing and a clean environment.
“However, within the constraints of our resources, we also need to promote the innovation, diversity, inclusiveness, and cultural and recreational facilities that make Auckland a great city.”
Council’s Governing Body will decide on Mr Goff’s final 10-year Budget proposal on Thursday before a final decision is taken at the end of June to strike the new budget for 2018 – 2028.