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Len Brown fails to convince Govt on transport

Len Brown fails to convince Govt on transport

While Parliament was listening to Finance Minister Bill English deliver the Government’s Budget, Auckland Mayor Len Brown was assuring councillors in today’s Finance & Performance Committee that there was now great alignment between the Government and Auckland Council on transport priorities and only “a few little differences around timing” remained. But that sentiment was certainly not mirrored in today’s Budget speech, says Auckland Councillor for Orakei, Cameron Brewer.

“I’ve long challenged the Mayor that if the Government was on-board with his transport plan as he purports, then Bill English would surely make at least some broad conciliatory comments in this Budget speech about positive and ongoing work with Auckland to meet transport and funding challenges, but alarmingly for the Mayor not a squeak from the Finance Minister.

“The Mayor says the Government is largely on board, but the Minister of Transport said two weeks ago they don’t support the Mayor’s current transport plan full stop. Now the Minister of Finance is conspicuous in his silence by not even offering up some vague utterances acknowledging Auckland’s transport plan, plight or funding challenges.

“With any acknowledgment of Auckland’s transport issues completely absent in today’s Budget speech, I think we can safely conclude that the Mayor has only convinced himself of progress and is still officially miles off convincing the Government despite five years of trying.

“Rest assured the Mayor’s interim transport targeted rate - which has rocketed up average residential rates by 9.9% - will be by no means temporary. The Government has wholeheartedly and publicly bumped the Mayor again. There’s no transport alignment. There’s not even a small mention,” says Cameron Brewer.

“Maybe Labour’s Phil Goff is better placed as Auckland’s next Mayor to the convince the National Government? Not!”


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