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

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news