9 Sep 2014

Auckland's Southern Initiative backed

8:29 am on 9 September 2014

The Labour Party is promising to back the Auckland Council's ambitious plan to transform the lives of people in the city's poorer southern suburbs.

Phil Twyford.

Labour's Auckland spokesperson Phil Twyford Photo: RNZ

Support for the Southern Initiative is the only new element in Labour's policy on Auckland.

The Southern Initiative aims to redirect existing Government spending into locally-run programmes to improve educational achievement, job growth and housing and social conditions in south Auckland.

It is a key part of the council's long-term plan.

It has had a slow start, but Auckland mayor Len Brown says the council has made recent progress in getting central Government on board.

Labour's Auckland spokesperson, Phil Twyford, said Labour will redirect exisiting Government spending in south Auckland into new programmes designed in conjunction with the council.

He said Labour will commit ministers and senior officials to work with the council on the initiative.

"We're going to put the heft, the political and financial heft, and policy heft of central government behind it to really make it fly.

"I know Auckland Council has wanted to do this but the current National Government has frankly just not been interested in supporting it anything but a kind of token way," he said.