Auckland mayor Phil Goff left yesterday on an extensive 16-day working visit to Europe which includes talks & conferences on urban regeneration, affordable housing & homelessness.
The itinerary itself is mind-boggling in its extent.
Mr Goff starts his visit today with a wreath-laying & presentation of a bronze statue of 1905 All Black captain Dave Gallaher to the people of Flanders on behalf of Auckland.
He’ll also attend a high level CityLab mayoral conference in Paris, invited by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose foundation & other sponsors are meeting the cost of travel & accommodation there.
The mayor’s visit to Belgium is with the official New Zealand delegation participating in the centenary commemorations of the World War I Battle of Passchendaele. Dave Gallaher was one of 492 Aucklanders who died in the Battle of Broodseinde in the lead-up to the Battle of Passchendaele. The statue, sculpted by Malcolm Evans, is a smaller replica of the statue of Dave Gallaher that stands outside Eden Park.
Mr Goff said: “Every New Zealand family is touched by World War I in some way and my family is no different, having lost a great uncle on the Western Front whose grave I will visit.”
From Belgium, he goes to London to meet the incoming lord mayor of the City of London, William Russell, senior leaders & Greater London Authority officials from investment, urban planning & transport organisations. The lord mayor is elected for a year, whereas the more widely known mayor of London is elected for a 4-year term. Current mayor is Sadiq Khan.
Mr Goff will also discuss affordable housing & urban regeneration at the Prince of Wales Foundation. Topics will include congestion charging & value uplift created by public transport infrastructure.
From London, Mr Goff will travel to Paris for the CityLab conference: Urban solutions to global challenges, hosted by the Bloomberg Foundation, The Atlantic & the Aspen Institute and bringing together mayors from around the world to discuss innovation & urban governance.
Mr Goff said on his departure: “London is an incredibly diverse city that faces similar challenges of housing unaffordability, congestion & environmental harm brought about by huge population growth. There is much Auckland can learn from how London has funded investment in infrastructure & public transport, and managed growth.
“Citylab brings together mayors from around the world to discuss innovative ways to tackle growth, environmental protection & urban planning.”
Attribution: Mayoral release.