Budget 2015 aims to address Auckland housing but no real change for transport
New Zealand economy reliant on vibrant, productive and efficient commercial capital
While Budget 2015 includes much analysed measures to address Auckland’s housing issues, government funding for new transport projects in our largest city will have to wait.
Deloitte partner Tim Arbuckle points out that Auckland makes up over a third of New Zealand’s population and a greater proportion of GDP.
“Auckland matters greatly to the economic prosperity of New Zealand. Our economy needs a vibrant, productive and efficient commercial capital, and an improved transport system is vitally important,” says Mr Arbuckle.
“Unfortunately, pressures on Auckland’s transport infrastructure are growing and will not wait. Providing better access for people to get to their place of work is good for productivity and the economy.”
While the Government focuses on housing issues and cooling Auckland’s hot property market, they have signalled that flagship transport projects like the $2.5 billion city Rail Link (CRL) will have to wait for patronage and employee growth targets to be met before government funding will be unlocked.
In the meantime, Auckland has consulted with ratepayers on its transport choices as part of its 10-year budget and received support for a comprehensive package of transport projects worth $10.3 billion over 10 years, compared with a scaled back programme worth $6.9 billion. Both plans included CRL.
Mr Arbuckle says the lack of consensus on the solutions for Auckland’s transport infrastructure and their timing and funding is disappointing.
“Transport infrastructure plays a vital role in enabling productivity and growth. A concentrated focus on co-planning between local and central government is needed to align priorities to break the current deadlock. Hopefully this will be in time for next year’s budget,” concludes Mr Arbuckle.