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

 

Government Bows To Mayoral Transport Demands

by Selwyn Manning

The Government has committed itself to attacking Auckland’s traffic congestion, a move which promises to include measures in its roading programme, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said tonight.

The statement came hours after deputy Prime Minister ducked Parliamentary questions from Alliance MP Sandra Lee asking what the Government was going to due about Auckland’s social and infrastructural woes.

At the time Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley was receiving notice from a unified pack of Auckland regional mayors.

Mrs Shipley heard demands from mayors of Rodney, North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland, Manukau, Papakura, Franklin, and the Auckland Regional Council head, that central Government make law changes to give them power to act independently.

The Auckland Mayoral Forum also issued all central Government politicians a series of social demands which it says must be improved upon.

Meanwhile back in Parliament Sandra Lee asked what reports had Mrs Shipley received about the ability of her Government to meet social and economic needs, homelessness, poverty and increasing disparities of wealth in Auckland?

On her behalf Wyatt Creech answered that the government is constantly monitoring progress in all regions, and that it had delivered real improvements through a number of programmes.

“I haven't seen the report referred to by the member but I can confirm that we have made improvements in a number of areas. While there are still difficulties a balanced person would also see there are some improvements. Household incomes have been growing nationally since 1991. There has also been significant improvement in income disparity for women and Maori.”

Auckland’s mayors centered much of their lecture on transport. They insist on changes to funding legislation to allow transport authorities to commit more money to major projects to ease Auckland’s traffic congestion.

Mrs Shipley assured the mayors she would consider the issues. The Prime Minister later left the Meeting at Manukau City Council’s “white house” with the mayoral wish-list in hand.

Definitely traffic was enemy number one on the mayor’s list. Auckland’s transport crisis is estimated to cost the country $750 million a year in congestion and delays. The mayors want permission to start charging motorists travelling at peak hour. They also want the government to help improve public transport, particularly more rail.

Demands for a beefed up Government social spending programme in Auckland was driven home to Mrs Shipley. She was told that poverty in Auckland is now entrenched. More Government commitment to solving homelessness and the lowering health status is required.

Mrs Shipley said tonight: "I am confident we will be able to put the necessary changes in place during next year. We were able to give this assurance to the mayors of Auckland after I met them today along with Treasurer Bill English and Transport and Local Government Minister Maurice Williamson.

"I was encouraged to hear the progress the Mayors have made on their Regional Land Transport Strategy, which should be completed at the end of October."

But the Alliance’s Sandra Lee says Auckland’s problems go much further than traffic congestion.

“Even former national party cabinet Ministers such as Christine Fletcher can see that this government has caused extensive poverty in Auckland as well as the impoverishment of the regions,” Ms Lee said.

“Auckland's problems are New Zealand's problems, and many have been caused by this government's short sighted health, housing and infrastructure policies.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages