Phil Goff has given the strongest hint yet he'll run for mayor of Auckland next year.

A possible contest between the former Labour leader and a rejuvenated John Banks is shaping up in the city where gridlock, rates, and soaring property prices are a perennial political migraine for incumbent Len Brown.

This morning Mr Banks, a two-time former Auckland mayor and one-time Act Party leader, wouldn't rule out running in the race.

Mr Goff today said he was doing his "homework" on the 2016 race.

Mr Goff said he'd prefer rates were not used as a way of meeting Auckland's infrastructure costs.

"I'd prefer a more user-pays basis. If you use the roads, then that's where the costs should fall, rather than on a lot of retired folk around the city that aren't using motorways in peak hours

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