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Response to Govt's Auckland transport package

MEDIA RELEASE

27 January 2004

Councils prepare to respond to Government's
Auckland transport package

Local authorities in Auckland will start meeting next week to formally decide their responses to the Government’s package to develop the region’s transport network.

The package, announced on 12 December, provides for an extra $1.62 billion in funding over the next 10 years and proposes a new Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA). The package is conditional on all territorial local authorities and the Auckland Regional Council agreeing to the new governance arrangements.

Regional local government officers have been evaluating the package since 12 December and, through chief executives, are providing four reports for councils.

The reports deal with funding, governance and regulatory issues and make recommendations for councils to consider.

Officers report the package provides 60 per cent of the funding needed by the region to implement its transport strategy – to deliver integrated and efficient transport networks and services. They also note that there may be little benefit in having ARTA making decisions on local roads – when state highways and rail decisions (involving Government agencies Transit and Trackco) are left outside the mix.

And officers are concerned that new funds will not be made available until regional transport and other plans are updated, a potentially time consuming process.

The major recommendations include asking the Government to:
- consider introducing further new funding mechanisms, including road pricing, to help bridge the funding gap and deliver sustainable long term funding
- make sure all future work on tolling is carried out jointly by the Government and the region
- remove the link between making changes to regional and district plans and the flow of new funds, to avoid delaying the start of projects already set to go
- seriously consider integrating the functions of Transit and Trackco into the new regional governance structure.
Several recommendations are made to help with the establishment of ARTA.

The officers’ full reports will be publicly available through local councils’ agendas, including some of their web sites.

The current schedule of council meetings at which responses to the Government will be decided are:

Auckland City Council - January 29, 2004
Rodney District Council - January 29, 2004
Manukau City Council - January 29, 2004
Franklin District Council - February 2, 2004
North Shore City Council - February 3, 2004
Waitakere City Council - February 5, 2004
Auckland Regional Council - February 4, 2004
Papakura District Council - February 9, 2004


Ends

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