Auckland’s problems not addressed by Budget
News Release May 24, 2001
Auckland’s problems not addressed by Budget says Mayor
The Budget 2001 should be acknowledged for the Government’s desire to hold the spending line, however it will not address the mounting social problems in Auckland, said Auckland City Mayor Chris Fletcher, following the first Budget lock-up and briefing to be held in the city, today.
Mrs Fletcher – who also chairs the Regional Mayoral Forum – said the Budget did not meet expectations for specific information about initiatives of benefit to Aucklanders to meet the particular needs and growth issues of the largest and fastest growing region in the country.
The Auckland region has felt the impact of shortfalls in areas of social responsibility including migrant resources (over 70 percent of new migrants live in the Auckland region) and policing (with resources inadequate especially in the central city).
“The additional $139 million announced for police is welcome but this will only maintain existing operations and not boost staff numbers in the central city – an area which is under particular pressure as a focal point for 24-hour entertainment and visitors. Considering the strong advocacy and solid case that local government has put for a greater police presence, we would have liked a stronger commitment to Aucklanders’ security and safety,” she said.
Mrs Fletcher is pleased that there was mention within the Budget of the purchase of the rail corridors – an integral part of an improved passenger transport system. “Continued traffic congestion is costing not only Auckland but the whole of the country and we welcome this as a step towards balanced transport strategy, involving both passenger transport and roading.”
An increase in resources to research biosecurity threats facing New Zealand is of special interest, Auckland being a major entry point for people and cargo and therefore more vulnerable.