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


What Successful Light Rail Looks Like For Auckland

The Government’s new light rail establishment unit represents an opportunity to rethink the wider transport and development vision for Auckland to tackle congestion, carbon and housing affordability challenges, says Infrastructure New Zealand Policy Director, Hamish Glenn.

The Government announced this week it is setting up a new Establishment Unit to evaluate options for rapid transit between the city centre and Mangere. The new unit will sit inside Waka Kotahi and be led by an independent chair with a governance board comprising representatives from Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, Ministry of Transport, Kainga Ora and Waka Kotahi itself.

It is expected to report back to the Government towards the end of the year on mode, route, costing, funding, financing, value capture and delivery entity.

This is an ambitious timeline and the new Transport Minister deserves credit for moving quickly to address questions over the future of the project.

While some were hoping for the announcement of a shovel-ready project, the Minister says he wants to be absolutely certain that the plan we move forward with is the right one. That is why this fresh start is involving Aucklanders and doing the work alongside them.

The unit is expected to engage communities left out of the previous process. It will be important to engage not just communities but the industry which will be required to deliver light rail and which has endured several years of uncertainty.

Early clarity will be important for the financial community in particular who will need to understand what the Government’s appetite is for private sector involvement.

Essential to the success of the Unit and its ability to develop a project which endures political cycles will be a broad mandate which answers major outstanding questions about the future growth and development of Auckland.

Recently released ATAP analysis found that congestion and carbon emissions both worsen under current transport plans and there remains no evidence that housing can be delivered at a price point Aucklanders can afford.

What is the transport network that Auckland needs to be a competitive, equitable and sustainable economy?

What does a transport system which achieves a net zero carbon New Zealand in 2050 look like?

Where and when will competitive land supply which enables affordable housing be unlocked?

If the Establishment Unit can answer these questions and demonstrate that light rail between the city centre and Mangere is an essential component then public concerns with the project will quickly dissipate.

This project is a test case for the future of integrated transport and development in New Zealand.

Other major cities in New Zealand will be watching the progress of the Unit closely as will the domestic and international infrastructure sector.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Implications Of The Travel Bubble

Amidst the coverage of the hugs and kisses and reunion tears one hates to be a killjoy… But there has been little attention paid to the pattern of travel we’re likely to see with the Trans-tasman bubble. Clearly, there has been a lot of pent-up demand for the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) kind of travel which – while welcome on humanitarian grounds - will be of less benefit to our ailing tourism industry than say, holiday excursions and high-end business travel... More>>


Government: Border Exceptions Will See More Families Reunited

Hundreds more families who were separated by the border closure will be reunited under new border exceptions announced today, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. More>>


National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>


Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels