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

 

Ratepayers deserve full explanation over costly tram failure


Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Ratepayers deserve full explanation over costly tram failure

Reports that the board of Waterfront Auckland has suspended funding the Wynyard Quarter trams should come as no surprise, says Auckland Councillor for Orakei, Cameron Brewer.

“Promises made that the two old trams would attract over 10,000 users a month and pay for themselves were completely pie-in-the-sky. Ratepayers deserve a full explanation why such outrageous promises to Auckland Council could’ve been made in the first place.”

Back in May 2012, Mr Brewer released alarming figures which showed revenue from ticket sales for the trams’ first eight months was only a third of what was forecast and monthly patronage numbers* had fallen to only 20% of what was forecast. By then, the tram company had already recorded an operating loss of $139,136 and Waterfront Auckland was actively seeking a further $150,000 subsidy required to return the tram company to a break even position and ensure continued operations.

“The trams financial failure was well-signalled but no one wanted to hear about it. Instead they just kept driving empty trams around a desolate car-parking hoping something would change. Ratepayers have been forced to keep forking out, while a few camels have kept their heads completely in the sand. It’s totally unacceptable.

“The trams proved popular when they first opened and during the Rugby World Cup but they have been a disaster since. Their hours and days of operation should have been cut back over 12 months ago. Instead every day from 10.00am to 4.30pm, according to Waterfront Auckland’s website, they’ve been going around and around - empty most of the time. You wouldn’t run a business like that. Ratepayers have been treated like mugs.”

Mr Brewer says as well as a full explanation of why Waterfront Auckland’s forecasts were so wrong and why it kept the service going for so long, the $8.2m allocation to extend the tramlines over the Te Wero drawbridge, and along to Britomart should be deferred indefinitely.

“Waterfront Auckland assured us that such an extension of the project wouldn’t increase existing operational costs much as the trams were already fully staffed and running full time. However ratepayers should be very worried about further operational and capital cost blow-outs.”

According to the council’s draft 2013/14 Annual Plan and Waterfront Auckland’s website the extension work has been deferred from the current financial year of 2012/13 to 2013/14 with the project starting in September this year and due to be complete September 2014.

“That’s still too soon. Waterfront Auckland needs to first and foremost sort out the failings of the current service, before extending it. Let’s not throw good money after bad. Ratepayers deserve better and Auckland has much greater priorities,” says Cameron Brewer.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election