2024 – Project Auckland

‘Project Auckland’ builds momentum

The Coalition Government is setting its sights on accelerating Auckland’s economic growth.
It helps that Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Minister for Auckland Simeon Brown are both Aucklanders.

Importantly, they are from a Government which won broad endorsement from Auckland at last year’s general election — including for shelving projects like the costly Auckland Light Rail.

As the Prime Minister puts it in his commitment to Aucklanders, published in today’s Project Auckland: “For too long Aucklanders have been sold a vision of their city as one that accepts infrastructure falling apart, congestion worsening, health and education in decline, violent crime commonplace on our streets, and the dream of owning your own home getting further out of reach.”

His vision is for a city that is “wealthier, healthier, and more connected to unlock its potential.”

A city with deep and decisive collaboration between central and local government that does the everyday basics well and builds a strong foundation for future growth and opportunities.

That collaboration between Cabinet and “City Hall” is all-important.

As the Herald’s Bernard Orsman reports in his “The battle for Auckland”, the Government holds the cards when it comes to making critical investment decisions affecting Auckland.

But Luxon and Brown will be careful not to trumpet their power overly. Particularly, with a mayoral election pending in Auckland next year and incumbent Wayne Brown making it clear, “this is my city”.

Project Auckland was launched in November 2006 as part of a New Zealand Herald Leadership campaign.

We produced multiple reports as we campaigned for Auckland to be a Super City. Project Auckland also strongly promoted action to secure major opportunities that were bypassing a deeply fragmented Auckland, riven with rivalries between mayors and cities then part of the wider metropolis.

A typical example was Auckland’s failure to get on board when Helen Clark’s Labour Government offered to facilitate a spanking new sports stadium on the waterfront in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Rival city bosses disagreed. The offer languished.

Now a working group is studying rival proposals to build either a new stadium on the waterfront, which would bring thousands of people into downtown, or an expansion of Eden Park. Whatever the decision, this opportunity cannot be lost to the city — again.

Over nearly two decades, Project Auckland has become a vehicle for politicians to outline their strategies and test ideas; thought-leaders to campaign for much needed change, government and council agencies to reveal their plans, developers to showcase projects — and much more besides.

What is undeniable is that in the post-Covid era, Auckland is upping the momentum.

The projects and people in today’s report are central to that.

Enjoy the report.

Fran O’Sullivan
Executive Editor
Herald Business Reports

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