Phil Goff MP
Mayoral aspirant Phil Goff began his address by reflecting on why he wanted to continue serving in a public capacity after 30 plus years in the public eye. His rationale was that his reasons included wanting to make a difference and a preference to be a positive force for good (noting Opposition has its frustrations and limitations).  
Phil’s vision was with 30% of the population and 30% of GDP, Auckland was that place Sir Paul Callaghan described as essential for New Zealand - a place where talent wants to live. Auckland can be the place that accepts our best and brightest through scale and opportunity. However this attraction of talent means Auckland needs to cope with continuing to accept an additional 800 people per week as residents – needing houses, hospitals, cars  and all the impedimenta of a first world society. 
Phil noted Auckland has not kept up with its infrastructure requirements and people were fed up with congestion and grid lock on the roads. He unapologetically said he wanted some form of road pricing that augmented capacity and managed demand through pricing tools. His vision includes intensification along the rail and bus way corridors and noted for example preponderance of car dealerships in Panmure adjacent to the rail corridor (10 minutes from the City) that could easily become high density housing developments without scaring the horses (grazing quietly in the leafy suburbs adjacent ed.) .
Phil’s fiscal solution is living within the Council’s means and some form of infrastructure bond that might be funded 50/50 between the Council and Central Government. No one asked if he would sell the Port to raise a bit.
The point Phil made that perhaps resonated the most with the audience was he needed to achieve significant cultural change at the Council to make it an organization that aimed to serve its constitutents cost effectively, responsively and quickly. He was going to recruit help from business leaders who had driven successful change as it was critical to reshape who and what the Council does.
He had war stories of the new Council needing 8 people to attend a drainage consent application that in the days of the Mt Roskill Borough Council and Manukau City Council were the prevail of one engineer.  Phil said there’s a lot of waste and duplication, it’s “overstaffed” and “needs to slim down”. Bring it on was the murmurs on my table.