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Auckland discloses plan for best-results

MAYOR’S OFFICE
AUCKLAND CITY

Moving Auckland Forward


Hon John Banks QSO
Mayor of Auckland City

5 December 2003


Auckland discloses plan for best-results
transport governance structure

Auckland’s Mayor, Hon John Banks, today released previously confidential detail on the regional transport governance structure Auckland City believes will deliver the most effective results.

Auckland City Councillors unanimously supported the proposals at a meeting on 1 December.

The council’s position was today reinforced in a letter to the Minister of Finance, Hon Dr Michael Cullen.

Mr Banks said it was now time to release the detail and make sure Aucklanders were aware of all the options.

“It’s not about one authority versus another. Or one mode of transport over another. The issues are far greater than that. We have a chance as a country to get it right, do what’s best. Do what will best deliver an integrated transport network for the region. We must not come up short,” Mr Banks said. “We’re urging the Government to act in the best interests of the region.

“The city believes it is critical that a comprehensive, single focused and professionally run transport agency is established to move Auckland forward,” Mr Banks said.

Auckland City wanted an “integrated” entity.

It should:

- Be a council controlled organisation (CCO) or stand-alone statutory entity with an independent board of directors appointed to achieve the optimum mix of skills and experience
- Integrate the implementation planning, development, management and contracting for infrastructure and services relating to all modes of transport in the region – including roads, rail, buses and ferries
- Receive direction from, and report to, an Electoral College made up of elected members appointed from all the region’s seven territorial local authorities, ARC and Central Government if it chooses.

Mr Banks said the council believed a stand-alone entity was also critical to achieve public confidence in transport governance.

A stand-alone entity was more likely to achieve this than one under the ARC.

A new stand-alone authority would have a better chance of establishing a stable non-hierarchical and genuine partnership dedicated to achieving successful transport outcomes.

The approach was also more democratic. Significant transport funding already came from the local authorities, which also had broad responsibility for land use and the welfare of their local communities. They also needed to make large investment decisions affected by major transport decisions.
Watercare Services Limited and Auckland Regional Transport Network Limited had already proved this model would work well.

Mr Banks said his council had also resolved that if a stand-alone entity was not acceptable to the Government, the new entity should be a CCO with significant territorial local authority involvement. That was essential to achieve integration between land use and transport.

“The council has decided unanimously that anything less is not acceptable,” Mr Banks said.

“The Cabinet should opt for nothing but the best option.”

Mr Banks said the city’s governance proposals had been kept confidential until now at the request of other parties to allow for negotiation.

Ends

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