Phil Goff: Auckland transport, housing take priority over stadium

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff (Getty)
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff (Getty)

Auckland's new mayor admits there are more pressing issues than a waterfront stadium and says Auckland's key issues will be dealt with before the billion-dollar project goes ahead.

Talks of a replacement of Eden Park are back on the table, and Phil Goff is suggesting Eden Park is sold to help fund it.

Mr Goff forecasts the project will kick off more than a decade down the track, but says preliminary discussions need to take place now.

"A new stadium is probably at least 15 years out. We're dealing with an immediate housing crisis, so of course housing is the priority, as indeed is the provision of transport infrastructure."

Mr Goff says he's yet to discuss the matter with council or central Government.

The fact he would rather build a whole new stadium than invest an estimated $250 million on upgrading Eden Park has raised concern over prioritising of council funding and ratepayers' money.

While he says the project isn't first on his list, Mr Goff says it's something that needs discussing.

"It's not the top of council's priorities. Our priorities must be to get the transport infrastructure in place, to stop worsening congestion and gridlock and to get infrastructure to enable more houses to be built."

But he says council will understand planning needs take place early on so land and money can be allocated.

"I think they will want to see some preliminary work done, and they'll want to see a business case made out for it.

"It's important to me that this is not a burden that simply goes on to the ratepayer. Maybe the sale of existing assets can contribute towards the cost."

Mr Goff says it's logical to build a stadium near public transport hubs and amenities in the central business district.