The new Government must invest more taxpayer money in the country's biggest city and introduce modern trams to the airport, says Auckland's mayor.

Phil Goff said he was looking forward to working with the new Government to accelerate spending on transport, lift the pace of house building and protect Auckland's environment.

"The Government has a significant role in Auckland's investment priorities over the next 10 years and I will be in discussions with new ministers to establish clear commitments from Government on its contribution to our city's growth.

"I want to move quickly on agreeing the next steps for development of mass transit to the airport, which should be light rail [modern trams]," Goff, a former Labour leader, told the Herald on Sunday.


The mayor reiterated a plea to the new Government to give Auckland new revenue sources, including a regional fuel tax, tolls and congestion charges, saying the council is at the limit of its debt ceiling.

The council's new 10-year budget, which is under way, would be clearly focused on addressing the challenges brought about by Auckland's unprecedented growth, he said.

"With the election over we will work closely with Government to secure the funding necessary to invest in Auckland's infrastructure and gain agreement on critical projects in council's 10-year budget."

National and Labour offer different recipes for dealing with Auckland's growth, running at about 50,000 new residents a year and stretching the city's creaking infrastructure.

National is sticking with a well-worn theme of building more roads to deal with congestion throttling the Super City at a cost of $2 billion a year.

Following on from the opening of the $1.4b Waterview tunnel, National has more than $4b in the pipeline, mostly for new roads. They include the east-west highway through the city's industrial hub costing up to $1.8b, a new state highway from Manukau to Drury parallel to the Southern Motorway costing $955m and Northwestern busway costing $835m.

Labour promised a "game-changer" in the form of modern trams on two lines from the CBD to the airport and West Auckland costing $5b over 10 years, followed by trams to the North Shore.

It has also promised Auckland Council the ability to raise a petrol tax - thought to be 10c a litre - to help fund light rail, although how much the council will pay towards the $5b bill and whose balance sheet the trams will sit on remains unknown.


Labour's Auckland Issues spokesman, Phil Twyford, has said Auckland would shoulder a "significant" share of the cost.

The Greens are pushing hard for better public transport while NZ First supports trains to the airport but opposes a regional petrol tax.

When it comes to Auckland's housing crisis, both Labour and National are promising to build record numbers of houses, bringing a claim this week they are making promises they are unable to keep.

The head of one of the country's largest land development consultancies, Woods managing director Daniel Williams, said the promises made a nice headline "but there's no substance to any of their plans to actually be able to deliver".

A case in point is the Government's goal to build 7500 houses on Crown land in Tamaki within 10 to 15 years.

More than 18 months into the programme, just 213 have been built.

Labour's KiwiBuild programme promises to deliver 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years, with half in Auckland. National says its Crown Building Project will deliver 34,000 affordable homes in Auckland in the next 10 years on Crown land.