Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Central Rail Link Could Eventually Lead To A Bankrupt City


The nationwide campaign to replace the present system of council rates with a fairer system which reflects ability to pay and value for money.


23 November 2012

Central Rail Link Could Eventually Lead To A Bankrupt City – Or Bankrupt Ratepayers

[Statement from David Thornton]

Today’s media story of a ‘leaked report’ on the Central Rail Link is yet another attempt to convince Aucklanders that the Central rail Link is inevitable and vitally necessary.

There is no mandate for the expenditure of more than $3 billion on the proposed Central Rail Link in Auckland over the next seven years.

Despite Mayor Brown’s frequent claims that Auckland supports his Rail Link, and his use of an unscientific ‘phone-in’ survey to back his claims, most ratepayers do not support significant rates increases to pay for this project.

And ratepayers are aware that there will be permanent demands for subsidies to bridge the negative difference between fare revenue and cost per passenger.

While many ratepayers may approve of a Rail Link at some time they will not give full support until they are given the true picture of the impact on rates.

Recent public transport usage statistics do not indicate the level of growth in passenger numbers which would be needed to support a business plan strong enough to attract Government into paying for half the cost.

There has been no convincing evidence so far that forecast passenger growth could be achieved.

Who will these passenger be – shoppers, workers, tourists, - where will they be going to and from?

What will be the fares they will pay? What will be the subsidy required from rates for all of these extra passengers

And even if the Government does eventually contribute to 50% of the cost Auckland Council will still have to borrow at least $1.5 billion to meet its share.

We are all well aware that major projects such as this have a tendency to incur huge cost overruns – and, with the Council already planning to borrow up to, and occasionally beyond, its maximum prudent borrowing limits, the financial viability of the Council would only be saved by increased demands on ratepayers.

Ratepayers are aware of the Kaipara Council nightmare, and the latest credit rating downgrade for Dunedin City Council – there is no reason why Auckland will not suffer a similar downgrade with consequent hikes in interest on borrowing.

A recipe for bankruptcy – but Councils don’t go bankrupt, they use their power to set and collect rates to avoid this.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news