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Mayor Welcomes Government Support For Key Parts Of Auckland Deal

The Manifesto for Auckland, the Mayor’s foundational document seeking an Auckland Deal with Government, has today had several wins.

The manifesto is made up of five points Aucklanders elected Mayor Wayne Brown on, with multiple asks of the government; some require legislative change, some do not.

Today’s announcements include the government’s commitment to give Auckland’s elected representative control over the Regional Land Transport Plan.

Mayor Wayne Brown says Minister Brown’s announcement marks a substantial change in Auckland’s relationship with central government.

“This is a big move and one of my first requests of the government when elected. It signals a change in the way central government sees Auckland. I welcome the Minister’s support for this legislative change that will give Auckland Council control of the Regional Land Transport Plan. Good job.”

He said it has been a bugbear for Aucklanders for a long time.

“Auckland is the only region in the country where elected members don’t get the final say on how ratepayer money is spent on transport. Given how much of an issue transport is for Aucklanders, this move will be greatly welcomed. I was elected to take back control of Auckland Transport, and that is what I am doing. I look forward to working closely with the minister on this issue.”

The government has recommitted to time-of-use charging, another big win for the manifesto, recognising it needs to be a partnership approach. There will be better allowances for the use of dynamic lanes, a key piece of the Mayor’s transport vision.

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A City Deal is also actively being explored and reflects a relationship based on mutual respect.

“City Deals work overseas, and this government and our Prime Minister are smart enough to see that. Our size and scope make Auckland very suitable for such a deal. These deals are about central government working alongside Aucklanders, listening to Aucklanders’ needs. There is no magic money tree for any of us, but city deals reflect a new way of working based on mutual respect.”

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon expressed his support for an Integrated Transport Plan for the people and goods of Auckland.

“This is good news today and was another ask in the Manifesto for Auckland. It’s good to see the government listening and getting on with things.”

Finally, the Mayor would like to thank Minister Bishop for a substantial move today in housing, granting his request for an extension on Plan Change 78.

This will enable Auckland Council to pursue a sensible plan change with the opt-out of the Medium Density Residential Standards in place, so it can down-zone land at high-risk of flooding and enable growth in the right places. This was another key ask in the Mayor’s manifesto.

Because of the existing statutory timeframes, formal hearings restarted at the beginning of March and, without an extension, would have needed to ramp up over the next few months, only to be re-done once completed.

“These hearings were a costly and unnecessary headache for council, and others. We estimate that Auckland Council, Aucklanders, community groups, developers, and government agencies like Kāinga Ora were spending around $500,000 per week for every week they were forced to go through with that ridiculous and needless plan change process. Minister Bishop acknowledges this nonsense and has allowed a practical solution. It’s a pat on the back for him.”

The above announcements are in addition to several key manifesto asks the government has already accepted, and that the Mayor and Council are working on with government. The full manifesto can be found here.

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