Auckland Mayor and former Labour leader Phil Goff has congratulated Jacinda Ardern on becoming Prime Minister, saying she has taken the party from electoral disaster to electoral victory.

Goff said he had been blown away at how she had shown her mettle since taking over the Labour leadership and hit the ground running with confidence, energy and freshness.

He said Ardern - a person of honesty and integrity who worked for Goff when he was a cabinet minister - will bring a requisite set of talents to the job of Prime Minister, which will be no easy role.

Goff also paid tribute to out-going Prime Minister Bill English, who he admired as an evidence-driven politician.


"He can look back on what he has achieved for New Zealand and be very proud."

Goff, who is in London looking at transport and housing issues, looked forward to working with the Labour-Green-NZ First coalition, saying it would be an advantage having an Auckland MP and committed Aucklander as Prime Minister. Winston Peters also lived in Auckland and understood the city's challenges, he said.

He said there was a renewed interest from the new Government to address Auckland's housing crisis and transport problems.

"There will be a meeting of minds on what we need for transport ... but the funding issues still need to be resolved," said Goff, saying the new Government was not a magic wand that would suddenly resolve the city's problems.

Ardern's first policy announcement was a light rail link from the airport to the CBD in Auckland, to be paid for out of a regional fuel levy on Aucklanders.

Last month, Labour's Auckland Issues spokesman Phil Twyford said he did not know how the costs would be shared between the Government and the council, except to say the council would not pay the majority.

Twyford also did not whether modern trams, also known as light rail, would site on the Government or the council's balance sheet.

NZ First is opposed to trams to the airport and wants to run trains to the airport on a new 7.5km rail line from Puhinui.


Labour has also promised to building 100,000 affordable homes over the next decade, half of which will be in Auckland.