Transport Commissioner Needed For Auckland
United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne is repeating his call for the appointment of a Transport Commissioner for Auckland, in order to break the logjams preventing progress on public transport and motorway extensions, and to put in place long-term plans for both.
He was commenting on the Minister for Auckland Issues' threat to disband Infrastructure Auckland if it did not increase its funding of the Britomart development. "Ms Tizard's crass bullying highlights the gaps in responsibility presently in the system as far as Auckland transport is concerned."
"Earlier this month, I proposed that the Transport Commissioner for Auckland should have the power to hold transport assets and enter into contracts to run public transport services and to maintain transport infrastructure."
"The Commissioner role is parallel to that proposed in Construction of Transmission Gully Highway Bill I put before Parliament earlier this year, but in this case, the Transport Commissioner for Auckland would be part of Infrastructure Auckland, which already holds public assets, and would therefore be jointly responsible to the Auckland local bodies," he says.
However, Mr Dunne stressed that the Transport Commissioner would be empowered to act on majority recommendations, rather than wait for unanimous agreement on transport options.
"With the Greens on the far left opposing any motorway additions and ACT on the far right against any transport public expenditure, the moderate majority must make urgent progress on a mix of both options in order to prevent slow strangulation of Auckland's transport arteries."
"If Auckland is to be a city where people can travel readily to work opportunities, where families can travel around in safety, where children can use public transport without worry, where vehicles can be securely parked at public transport terminals, then progress must be made on a rational mix of public and private transport investments," Mr Dunne concluded.