Phil Goff says immigration not pushing Auckland families into poverty

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff dismisses claims immigration is causing Auckland families to be homeless.

This follows a recent investigation by Stuff and Newshub -  The Tale of Two Cities -  that shows a disparity in welfare between South Auckland and the rest of the city.

The AM Show host Duncan Garner asked the Mayor: "is there too much immigration into Auckland that pushes those already vulnerable families out of the house, into the garage?"

Mr Goff was firm, "If we just stopped immigration it would be a disaster."

He shared his recent first-hand experience with immigration having been hospitalised last month for a cardiac surgery.

"Those hospitals would close down tomorrow [without] the doctors, the nurses, the staff, the ancillary staff, probably 60-70 percent of them are migrants."

He said the same is true of other areas of the economy.

But he conceded the Government needs to take steps in coping with the rate of immigrants entering Auckland.

"If you're going to have that level of migration, 45,000 extra people living in Auckland each year, you've got to have the ability to create the infrastructure to cope."

Mr Goff said the Government and Auckland Council was injecting $28 billion to improve transport in an attempt to solve the problem. 

"If you can't keep up don't bring the people in," Mr Garner said

The Mayor stood by his argument, "well yes, except some of the people that you're going to be bringing in are the people who will contribute to the taxes and the skills and the energy and the effort to building your community.

"So I'm not going to be blaming migrants here."

Mr Goff said his solution to solving the disparity between south Auckland with the rest of the city is to give those without employment and education the skills to be stakeholders in Auckland.

"It's about lack of income which correlates with lack of education and skills."

He said 12,000 new jobs will open up in the efforts to improve Auckland's transport system and a council mandate is for construction companies to include a percentage of unemployed Aucklanders in their workforce in order to be a viable tender for the projects.