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Participation invited on transport rates review

Public participation invited on transport rates review

8 October 2003

Which ratepayers in the region should pay transport rates, and in what proportion? This is the key question the Auckland Regional Council is asking the community during its review of the transport portion of its rates.

The transport rates review, which is being undertaken over the next few months, involves evaluating the ways in which transport rates can/should be spread across the region.

The transport rate was 57% of the total rate billed by the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) this year. It is the most significant portion of the rate, and helps to pay for subsidised services, rail improvements, Total Mobility services, public transport information and transport planning.

Community participation is an important part of the review, and the ARC is asking people to provide comments and feedback - both on the current transport rating mechanisms, and some of the key issues to be taken into consideration in terms of how transport rates can be allocated next year.

A special issue of the ARC publication ‘RegionWide’ will be delivered to households throughout the region as an insert in local newspapers on 14 and 15 October. This will outline the review, and will include a questionnaire about transport rates. A discussion document - ‘ARC Transport Rates Review: Issues and Choices’ - outlines aspects of the review in greater detail, and will available on ARC’s website, www.arc.govt.nz, or from ARC’s Pitt St office (ph 09 366 2000, option 1) from 14 October.

“There has been considerable debate over transport rates in recent months, and this review is about implementing a system that is fair to everyone,“ says ARC Chairperson Gwen Bull.

“Comments and views from the wider community are an essential part of this review, and we would like as many people as possible to participate and provide feedback on how to spread transport rates across the region,” she says. “We hope that everyone will take at least a few minutes to read RegionWide, and to participate by completing the questionnaire, or coming to one of our open days.”

Some of the questions posed in RegionWide, and in the discussion document include: Should public transport costs be spread regionally? Should who pays be based on who benefits? Should urban ratepayers pay more of the transport rate? Should some property owners within urban areas be rated more than others? Should the ARC charge a business differential?

In November community open days will be held throughout the region. These will include information about the review, the Auckland public transport network, and ARC’s role in the region. ARC staff will be available to answer questions, and discuss concepts in detail.

Open days will be held from 10am to 4pm on the following dates:

Saturday 1 November - Elizabeth Campbell Function Centre, 2 Chapel St, Papakura.

Sunday 2 November - Bruce Mason Centre, cnr The Promenade & Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna.

Saturday 8 November - Jubilee Hall, 545 Parnell Rd, Parnell.

Saturday 15 November - Onehunga Community Centre, 83 Church St, Onehunga.

Sunday 16 November - Kelston Community Centre, cnr Awaroa & Great North Rds, Kelston.

Saturday 22 November - Greyhound Function Centre, Manukau Sports Bowl, Te Irirangi Drive, Manukau City.

Sunday 23 November - Kumeu Community Centre, Access Rd, Kumeu.

Saturday 29 November - Orewa Community Hall, Orewa Square, Orewa.

Plus

Tuesday 18 November – Pukekohe Town Hall Concert Chamber, Cnr Massey & Edinburgh Sts, Pukekohe.

(Please note different time: 3.30pm – 7pm)

Workshops with representatives from community and interest groups will also be held in November.

Feedback and comments from the public will be combined with information from computer modelling and policy development to enable ARC councillors to decide on an option that will then be included in the 2004/05 Draft Annual Plan.

The Draft Annual Plan will be open to formal submissions in April-May 2004, and following submissions and hearings, will be adopted in June 2004.

ends


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