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RAM opposes SH1 road tolls

RAM opposes SH1 road tolls

³RAM Residents Action Movement views Transit NZ¹s decision to toll SH1 from Albany to Puhoi as an outrage² said Elaine West an Auckland RAM candidate for the ARC. ³Such a decision must be challenged by the public of New Zealand.²

³RAM believes the whole consultation process undertaken by Transit NZ was a sham. So much so, that introducing tolls on New Zealand roads can be seen as a done-deal.²

³From our evidence, it appears that the Labour government and local council officers and members, especially the Mayoral Forum, negotiated behind closed doors to explore ways to extract more revenue from the public body.²

³And whose voice carried most weight when the Transit Panel heard submissions?²

ŒNOT the New Zealand people who had already paid over and over for a world-class SH1 as a main trunk road. In fact, New Zealanders generally were ignored by the Hearing Panel as they did not appear to fit the legal definition under the LTMA as the Œaffected community.¹ RAM disputes this Hearing Panels claim.²

³NOT the 47% majority of submitters who opposed the tolls RAM disputes the Hearing Panel¹s consultation outcomes.²

³NOT people living in Northland or wider Auckland who regularly commute to work across the region RAM disputes the Hearing Panel¹s consultative process.²

³NOT people who struggle to pay bills on low or moderate incomes, such as families with children and the elderly. Essential goods and services will rise in price as businesses transfer toll charges onto consumers RAM disputes the Hearing Panel's judgement based on equity issues according to p52 of the ARLTS. ²

³NOT Ngati Manuhiri who were concerned that tolls would have an adverse financial effect on their whanau RAM disputes the Hearing Panel¹s consultation process and the effect of tolling on the affected community according to the LTMA and LGA (2002).²

³NOT the large majority of submitters who told the Hearing Panel to get ALL funding for NZ¹s state highway network from fuel excise taxes, existing road user charges or new regional funding RAM disputes the Hearing Panel's lack of financial disclosure by not offering adequate data on NZ Income & Expenditure/Land Transport Funding, to the public body.²

And as the Rates Revolt revealed, the voices that carried the MOST WEIGHT belonged toŠŠ

LOCAL AUTHORITIES such as the Auckland Regional Council. As per usual contradictions, the ARC recently voted in favour of tolling Alpurt B2 even though the Chair Gwen Bull wrote in June, that the Council was waiting on the outcome of the Government study [expected to be completed in 2005] before deciding on actions RAM disputes the Hearing Panel's process of consultation as local body Councils have not adequately informed and consulted their communities as required under the law.²

³Business Interest in the form of LAND TRANSPORT OPERATORS. They supported tolling of the route, suggesting savings would pass on to consumers through increased industry competition. RAM believes this is untrue when, in fact, businesses will be laughing all the way to the bank as tolls costs are passed onto consumers, and toll charges are reclaimed as tax breaks a double-profit line. RAM disputes the Hearing Panel¹s assessment of impacting the affected community, and demands that the application for an Order in Council is dropped.²

Elaine West says ³RAM calls on the people of New Zealand to condemn the findings of the Hearing Panel, central Government and local Councils.²

³Perhaps the Government are more cautious of RAM than they care to admit a RAM-led ARC will move to prevent toll roads as forms of revenue raising.²

© Scoop Media

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