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Achievements for Auckland-government partnership

Achievements for Auckland-government partnership

Auckland Issues Minister Judith Tizard has used the final Auckland Mayoral Forum of 2003 to reflect on achievements made under the Auckland-government partnership.

"I want to thank and congratulate their worships John Law and George Wood for their excellent chairmanship of the Mayoral Forum this year, and their mayoral colleagues John Banks, David Buist, Sir Barry Curtis, Bob Harvey and Heather Maloney and ARC Chair Gwen Bull on a year of strong partnership across Auckland and with central government," said Judith Tizard.

"Auckland is pivotal to the economic and social wellbeing of the whole country, and world-class infrastructure is a key element of the government's growth and innovation framework.

"The Labour-Progressive Government is working as an active partner in making sure Auckland has the infrastructure and services it needs to grow in a sustainable manner, so that it can support development across the whole of New Zealand.

"We are working really well together and it's showing in what has been achieved this year alone. Last Friday's transport announcement was a highlight of the year and was the culmination of a lot of hard work by both local and central government officials.

"The funding and governance package of an extra $1.62 billion over ten years for Auckland follows on from the progress and completion of some major road-works such as Grafton Gully and the Puhinui Interchage, and the start of Spaghetti Junction's Stage 2 upgrade and the State Highway 18 projects. On top of this, passenger transport patronage continues to climb.

"While transport remains one of Auckland's most visible priorities, we also continue to work alongside the region on its economic, social, environmental and cultural needs, with the government's Sustainable Cities programme and Auckland's Regional Economic Development Strategy providing guidance."

Judith Tizard said progress made in Auckland this year covered a wide range of areas and included:

- The announcement of a proposed transport funding and governance package which would provide an extra $1.62 billion over ten years to Auckland and set up a new Auckland transport body

- Nationwide unemployment at a 16-year low, with Statistics NZ Household Labour Force Survey for the September 2003 quarter showing unemployment in Auckland stood at 20,800 - down from 29,300 in September last year

- A new Auckland Regional Office for Work and Income, providing a single, coordinated approach; 16,000 people in industry training in central, west and north Auckland

- The opening of the new Auckland City Hospital and setting up of Primary Health Organisations

- The government formally taking over the houses previously owned by the Auckland City Council, keeping them in public ownership; and with affordable housing a priority due to Auckland's high population growth, a visit by Housing Minister Steve Maharey and Labour's Auckland MPs to Auckland housing projects

- The establishment of a new programme of action for sustainable development, under which the government is focussing initially on Auckland in its development of sustainable cities across New Zealand

- Additional police, a specialist mobile DNA unit, and funding for police teams trained in the clean up of methamphetamine laboratories

- Funding for the Auckland Metropolitan Migrant and Refugee Strategy to move greater numbers of skilled migrants and refugees into work

- Extra Budget funding and initiatives for biosecurity measures

- Extra funding for business incubators in Auckland

- AK03 - the new Auckland arts and cultural festival - taking place with support from government agencies including Creative New Zealand

- Increased funding for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra from Creative New Zealand, which received a major Budget boost this year

- Extra funding to the NZ Historic Places Trust and DoC for heritage and conservation measures which will benefit historic Auckland areas such as North Head

- A ground-breaking ceremony for the major new redevelopment of Auckland War Memorial Museum, which government is contributing $26.5 million to from the Regional Museums Fund.

- Continuing high occupancy rates for Auckland's high-achieving tourism sector.

"There is much more work to do to support our growing economy and population, and we are well on the way because Auckland is working alongside a government that views the region not as a threat, but as a significant contributor to building a strong and confident nation," said Judith Tizard.

ENDS


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