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Package will jump start Auckland transport

Media statement Friday, December 11th, 2003

Package will jump start Auckland transport

The transport package announced today gets to grips with Auckland's transport issues, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"The package represents a very good start towards meeting the Auckland region's transport bottlenecks," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"It's a package that's fair to Auckland and to New Zealand's other regions.

"The extra $1.62 billion investment in the region's roads and public transport over 10 years will fill nearly half the funding gap between current revenue streams and the projected cost of completing our road networks and other transport infrastructure.

"Still to come are the details on toll roads, congestion pricing of the network and other forms of demand management.

"We are also keen on the idea of issuing infrastructure bonds including Auckland Infrastructure Bonds to fund finance future transport projects.

"EMA endorses as well the new transport governance arrangements.

"The new structure clearly defines responsibilities, ensures accountability and mandates action.

"Most importantly it ensures funding follows strategy, and the rationalisation of transport governance in the region, which were

objectives long sought after by the Auckland Transport Action Group (ATAG). ATAG is made up of business and local government representatives.

"Placing all transport under a single administration will of itself remove barriers to action.

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"Nevertheless in our view the structure could be streamlined still further by rolling the proposed Auckland Regional Holdings, which replaces Infrastructure Auckland and will be a wholly owned subsidiary of ARC, into the new standalone Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) which is to be accountable to the ARC.

"In addition we see the need for the new ARTA to develop a strong relationship with Transit New Zealand. This is to ensure local and regional transport strategies are linked since ARTA will have no responsibility for building Auckland's state highways, most of which are urgently needed to complete the region's transport networks."

ENDS

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