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Auckland City Transport Letter To Michael Cullen

5 December 2003

Dr Michael Cullen
Acting Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings

Dear Dr Cullen

Transport Governance

The Auckland City Council believes it is critical that a comprehensive, single focused and professionally run transport agency is established to move Auckland forward. We further believe that the transport agency should stand outside the existing agencies and have political governance exercised through an electoral college of elected members appointed from each of the territorial local authorities, the ARC plus representatives of the Crown if it so chooses.

This combined with an adequate funding package is necessary to provide certainty to the transport and construction industries to gear up for progress.

On Monday 1 December 2003, the Auckland City Council considered the matter of Transport Governance. The Council's resolutions, which were passed unanimously, and the reasons behind those resolutions are attached.

Up until now we have not publicly released the resolutions so as to allow ongoing discussions between the Councils in the region and the Government. However, we have agreed this morning that it is now appropriate to make the resolutions and this letter public and will do so this afternoon.

It is important to note that Auckland City's over-riding objective is for governance arrangements to be put in place which are in the best interests of the Auckland region.

The Auckland region appears united in the view that
- the Regional Land Transport Committee, a committee of the ARC should retain the responsibility for developing the Regional Land Transport Strategy and,
- there should be a comprehensive transport entity which integrates the implementation planning, development, management and contracting for infrastructure and services relating to all modes of land transport in the region including rail, buses ferries and roads.

This includes responsibilities which presently lie with

- Auckland Regional Council (ARC) for service planning and contracting
- Territorial Local Authorities for arterial roads, arterial / local interfaces, PT infrastructure, bus priority measures and TDM (including road pricing)
- Transit New Zealand for state highways
- Trackco for the rail corridor
- ARTNL for the development of rail stations and ferry terminals.

The integration of these responsibilities will result in significantly improved effectiveness, while it does not necessarily mean a change in physical ownership. But it does require planning, programming and funding to be co-ordinated by the transport agency.

The funding of the agency is critical both in terms of adequacy and access. The adequacy of the funding package to be announced on12 December is highly important. It is also important that Infrastructure Auckland's cash assets should be transferred to the Transport agency and "bulk funding" arrangements from Transfund should be pursued to prevent delays through uncertainty as to the availability of funding.

You will note that Auckland City believes its preferred option is likely to achieve greater public confidence because
(i) there is greater chance of developing a stable non-hierarchal and genuine partnership in the region dedicated to achieving successful transport outcomes. This approach is inherently more democratic
(ii) The basis for a partnership approach is the significant funding for transport currently coming from the territorial local authorities which also have broad responsibility for land use and the economic and social well being of their communities, all of which are dependent on successful transport outcomes.

This position is further supported by the attached analysis of how transport is funded in the Auckland region. It shows that out of a total annual spend on transport in the region, about $300m comes from road users through Transfund, $260m comes from rates and a further $100m comes from Infrastructure Auckland and other Council sources of income. The analysis further shows that of the $260m rates levied for transport in the Auckland region in 2003/04, $55m comes through the ARC and $204m comes through the territorial local authorities.

Finally, we note that should the Government decide to create a transport entity under the ARC, the Council submits that it is essential for all the reasons mentioned above, that it be a Council Controlled Organisation with significant input from the territorial local authorities into the governance processes, including the appointment and review of directors, the development of the statement of intent and review of the performance. Without this a successful partnership approach and the full benefits of integration will not be achieved.

We trust this clearly sets out Auckland City's position and reiterate the Council's commitment to pursue discussions in the coming weeks to achieve the best outcome for the Auckland region.

Yours sincerely

Hon John Banks QSO
Mayor of Auckland City

Councillor David Hay
Deputy Mayor

Councillor Bruce Hucker

Councillor Mark Donnelly

Councillor Greg McKeown

Councillor Richard Northey

Members of the Transport Governance Working Party

cc. Hon Paul Swain
Hon Chris Carter
Hon Judith Tizard

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