Monday, 15th July, 2013

“It is nice that a diverse group of Aucklanders has been able to reach a consensus on options for addressing Auckland’s transport funding shortfall,” notes Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett.

However, for real progress to be made a comprehensive assessment and modelling of the two options left on the table by the Consensus Building Group (“CBG”) – a single cordon or a motorway network scheme coupled with increases in existing funding methods - needs to be undertaken and translated into firm proposals that Aucklanders and central Government can assess.

The need for a comprehensive assessment of the impacts of the single cordon and/or motorway network option was made in feedback to the CBG some time ago, and now has added urgency given Prime Minister John Key’s recent announcement of a willingness to help fund and accelerate delivery of some of Auckland’s major transport projects, said Mr Barnett.

“All Aucklanders need to understand that if they are going to continue to use their car in the future, there will be an increased price to pay.

“Some of that increased price is driven by the relative inefficiency of the public transport system, and which also need to be addressed.”

The long-game for funding Auckland’s major transport infrastructure needs to involve a shift to a stronger user-pay element, whether it is for using a car or public transport.

Meanwhile the Government’s announcement of a willingness to contribute and accelerate funding on Auckland transport is a game changer, as were its recent announcements confirming an International Convention Centre and action to address Auckland housing problems.

“This acceleration of action on Auckland’s major issues is exactly the real progress Auckland needed. The momentum must be maintained,” concluded Mr Barnett.

For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.