Economic benefits of Eastern
9 March 2004
Economic benefits of Eastern
Transport Corridor justifies strong commitment by central and local government – BERL report
An economic report that evaluates the strategic and economic importance of the Eastern Transport Corridor released today, concludes the scale of possible benefits to Auckland and New Zealand would justify strong commitment by local and central government to the development of the Eastern Transport Corridor.
The report, by Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL), says the corridor project is justified economically as it will provide significant urban improvement benefits and economic development. For example, the report states that economic growth in Glen Innes and Panmure areas in the Tamaki Edge alone could add $1-1.5 billion to New Zealand’s GDP in 2030 if the Eastern Transport Corridor is built. In BERL's assessment the share of this growth attributable to the ETC would be substantial.
It also says that if the ETC is integrated with other initiatives it would increase residential and employment density and promote sustainable transport usage.
The report paints a picture of Auckland with the Eastern Transport Corridor as an attractive, enjoyable, and vital city with ready access among communities to work, to play, and to culture. It also points to changed travel behaviours with more walking, jogging, and cycling trips and more frequent and attractive public transport services.
It says the Eastern Transport Corridor will ensure Auckland assists in achieving the Government's growth objectives for New Zealand. The corridor will also allow Auckland to retain and build its attractiveness as an internationally competitive city.
The BERL report states that Auckland is constrained by sprawling suburbs of low urban and industrial density that have fed growing traffic congestion. It says future population increases and GDP growth will be constrained without commitment to change this pattern.
The report says economic research found iincreased transport capacity from Manukau to downtown Auckland through the east is justified.
Report author Kel Sanderson says the Land Transport Management Act of 2003 and the New Zealand Transport Strategy released in December 2002 broaden the vision for the role of transport investments, and therefore change the approach to be followed in evaluating and developing transport infrastructure in New Zealand.
“Cost Benefit Analysis has been replaced with an evaluation approach designed to reflect a much broader range of objectives, including assisting economic development,” he says.
This report is the first economic impact assessment of a major transport infrastructure project using this new framework. A significant outcome from applying this broader framework of analysis is the conclusion that the Eastern Transport Corridor is not just a transport project, but is an urban transformation and economic development project that will increase Auckland’s capacity and ability to promote New Zealand’s growth
Sanderson says the potential for integrated growth driven by the Eastern Transport Corridor is large, and there are clear opportunities to achieve this growth, especially by committing to transformation and economic development in the Glen Innes and Panmure areas. He says there are many opportunities for committing to similar transformation and economic developments along the length of the Corridor including developments at Sylvia Park, East Tamaki and the port.
“The actual level of benefit generated for Auckland and all of New Zealand by the Eastern Transport Corridor can be very large, depending on the specific opportunities developed.”