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New Transport Body For Auckland Region

Manukau Mayor Calls For New Transport Body For Auckland Region

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says there is a big gap in leadership of transport planning and implementation in the Auckland region and he is proposing that a new stand-alone transport authority be set up to fill that gap.

A number of organisations are currently involved in transport provision but Sir Barry believes the region is suffering because of a lack of leadership, uncoordinated planning and dispersed funding.

“There is already an overall transport strategy for the region in place but no one’s in charge overall, so progress is too slow. There’s too much fragmentation. No single organisation is looking at the big picture, deciding what needs to be done and then doing it. That’s why our transport system’s so poor.

“I have suggested to the Mayoral Forum that a separate organisation be set up alongside the ARC. It would have the resources to take over the role of funding, planning and contracting transport services in the region. This would include road building as well as integrated public transport.

“The Auckland Regional Council has responsibilities in this area but there are deficiencies in the way it was set up. This not a criticism of its current leaders, nor do my comments relate to the recent issue of ARC rating.

“There is a governance issue and the best way to tackle it is to separate out the ARC’s transport functions, leaving the ARC with its regional resource management and parks functions.

“I am proposing the new organisation be called the Auckland Transport Authority. It would incorporate the transport responsibilities of the current ARC, Infrastructure Auckland, ARTNL and Transfund in funding new roads, as well as Transit’s role in building roads within the region.

“I envisage there would need to be a governing board of perhaps 15 members including the mayors of the region, representatives of the Councils and central government.

“I will be discussing the proposal with Prime Minister Helen Clark and Government Ministers when I and other members of the Mayoral Forum meet with them in Wellington on Thursday,” Sir Barry says.

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