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

Election Day: National Win

With all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose.

Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party.

National ended the night on 48 percent, Labour 24.6 and the Greens 10. Though special votes might change the margins it is certainly a third term victory for Key defying the political gravity which usually hits parties seeking a third term. Increasing National’s party share is a remarkable political achievement...More>>

Overall Results | Live Results | Predictions |

 


Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news