INDEPENDENT NEWS

Mayor And Councillors Agree To Propose Legislation To Take Back Control Of Auckland’s Transport System

Published: Thu 17 Aug 2023 04:11 PM
Mayor Wayne Brown and Council’s Governing Body have unanimously agreed to support legislation that would put Aucklanders back in charge of the city’s transport system and enable more integrated, long-term decision-making with the Crown.
The Governing Body voted to accept the Mayor’s recommendation that the council support legislation to fix the governance of Auckland’s transport system, including by taking the initiative to promote a local bill with a ready-made solution.
The Mayor and Council will be seeking to confirm support for these changes from all political parties prior to the election.
“There is a strong sentiment in Auckland that Aucklanders do not have enough influence on the decisions made about their transport system. Too many things we do and spend money on are dictated to us, and too much time is wasted on mega projects imposed by Wellington rather than the smaller-scale initiatives that will really help Aucklanders get around easier. This has to stop.
“Transport accounts for more than 30% of Auckland Council’s budget over ten years. Despite this, Auckland Council is the only council in New Zealand that does not have a formal role in preparing and approving the strategic direction for transport and the allocation of funding to support that direction.
“The Auckland Transport Board itself has acknowledged that the governance and funding arrangements for Auckland are no longer working and have asked council to give serious consideration to how a more simplified, transparent, and robust planning and funding framework for Auckland can be created. We’ve acted on that,” says Mayor Brown.
The proposed bill would establish a Joint Transport Committee between the Crown and Auckland Council and a new Auckland Regional Transport Committee to provide more integrated and efficient planning and funding related decisions in Auckland.
“This will provide a legislative basis for Auckland Council and the Crown to agree to an Auckland Integrated Transport Plan which will set the long-term direction. We have made some good progress on this already with the Government, but it needs a legislative basis to have the most impact.
“The legislation would also mean Auckland Council will have the lead role in preparing and approving the Regional Land Transport Plan, which sets the strategic direction for transport and the allocation of funding in support of that direction and that the council will also be able to make other key regulatory decisions about the Auckland transport system, including setting parking fines.
“Previous attempts by the council to take back control of transport decisions have not worked. I have done the groundwork and already engaged with both the government and opposition and, while there is detail to work through, both have expressed support of the direction we are heading in with this change.
“It will bring Auckland Council’s responsibilities in line with other unitary councils and will provide agencies with a transport interest in Auckland with greater funding certainty.
“While we think this should be taken up as a government-led priority after the election, we are not waiting around and will put forward our own suggestion as a local bill too. Before the election, I will be asking political parties to confirm their support for these changes,” said Mayor Brown.
More information on the progress of the Auckland Integrated Transport plan will be released soon.

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