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

 

Parliament Today:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Protests Close Roads: TPP Signed In Auckland

“TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.” More>>

ALSO:

Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released

“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa

The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings

Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news