Phil Goff is eyeing a lengthy stint as Auckland Mayor but building council houses is not on the to-do list.
"We all have so many years on God's earth, but I would certainly like to do two or three terms if I am given the opportunity," said the 63-year-old, who first entered Parliament in 1981 and has a legendary work ethic.
The Labour MP for Mt Roskill, whose party has a proud history of building state housing, said with all the pressures on the Super City he could not see how the council could raise money to build houses.
Last week, the council partnered with the Selwyn Foundation to redevelop 1412 existing homes for older Aucklanders inherited from the former Waitakere, North Shore and Manukau councils. Forty new units will be built at Wilsher Village in Henderson.
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Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford said housing was fundamentally the job of central government and Auckland Council did not have the balance sheet to undertake a massive home-building programme.
"What we want to see is an active Auckland Council working in partnership with central government that is determined to intervene in the market and make it work properly," Twyford said.
Auckland needed 10 or 15 housing projects on the scale of Hobsonville Pt and Tamaki with central government and council help and other investors, he said.