Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


One-eyed transport plan taking New Zealand down wrong road

One-eyed transport plan taking New Zealand down wrong road


Press release – Generation Zero

Youth organisation Generation Zero says the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) 2012-15 released today confirms the Government is pushing ahead with its Roads of National Significance (RoNS) at all costs and continuing its severely unbalanced transport spending.

"With the enormous funding imbalance and completely unfair and unlevel playing field for the RoNS versus everything else, we think the Government's transport plan is both one-eyed and short-sighted," said Generation Zero spokesperson Paul Young.

The NLTP will see the Government borrowing $100 million and increasing fuel taxes and road user charges in order to afford the $3 billion earmarked for the RoNS, despite static state highway traffic volumes since 2005.

Meanwhile, Generation Zero's analysis shows that there will be less central government funding made available for public transport in real terms than in the prior NLTP, despite a 7% increase in public transport boardings since 2009.

Mr Young said it is local councils that are footing the bill to keep up with growing demand.

"Despite how the figures might be spun, the central government funding allocation for public transport has increased less than inflation. To compensate, the amount that local councils are set to invest is up 17%."

The Government and the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) emphasise that investments are focused on ensuring value for money, but rather than applying a rational and consistent approach they have adopted very different philosophies for the RoNS versus public and active transport and rail freight.

On the NZTA's website, it states that in order to ensure value for money from public transport, "existing services need to be optimised before we invest in new services".

However the RoNS are described as a "lead infrastructure" approach, "investing in infrastructure now to encourage future economic growth rather than wait until the strain on the network becomes a handbrake on progress".

Mr Young said, "Speaking of strain on the network, let’s look at Kiwirail right now - without a cash injection they'll be forced to cut track renewals in half and lay off 200 track workers, close lines and slow train speeds."

"Talk about a handbrake on progress."

Last Friday, Generation Zero launched an online petition to Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee calling for an immediate review of the RoNS programme, and a shift in investment towards alternatives such as Auckland’s City Rail Link, high quality cycleways, and a strong and efficient rail network.

By Wednesday more than 1,500 people had signed, and an accompanying video had been viewed 1,150 times on Youtube.

"We just want to see a level playing field where smart, future-proofed transport solutions are given a fair go rather than being squeezed out by a blind commitment to these costly new motorways,” said Mr Young.

“The Government’s current plans don’t stack up, and they’re a missed opportunity to invest in the smart, low-carbon future we want and need. They are taking New Zealand down the wrong road.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Failing To Prepare For Either Mental Health Needs, Or Covid Outbreaks

In a week when the Covid scare in Wellington and the national crisis in mental health both hit the headlines, they also seemed like mirror images of each other – in that we seem equally ill-prepared on both fronts. In both cases, contingency planning has seeds next to non-existent... More>>


Environment: Bringing Back The Health Of Hauraki Gulf

New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations.
The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today... More>>


NZ First Returns: Winston Peters - AGM Address

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be in Auckland for the 28th New Zealand First Party Conference. It is our intention and mission to remain the most successful political party outside of National and Labour in the last three decades... More>>

Government: New Members Appointed To Waitangi Tribunal

Minister for Māori Development, Hon Willie Jackson, today announced the appointment of three new members to the Waitangi Tribunal and the reappointment of one existing member to the Waitangi Tribunal... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>





InfoPages News Channels