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Auckland Transport to be stripped of planning powers

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By Finn Blackwell of RNZ

The Transport Minister says he will work with Auckland Council to give it the power to set its own 10-year plan for the city’s transport network.

Auckland is the only region in the country where elected members are not responsible for the Regional Land Transport Plan, something Mayor Wayne Brown has been vocal about in the past.

Auckland Transport sets the plan, guided by central and local government policies. Transport Minister Simeon Brown said he would work with Auckland Council to change that.

He said the mayor had rightly called for the change and he looked forward to working with him on how it could be delivered.

“If we want to get things done in this country, we need to slash the red and green tape which is holding our country back,” he said.

Thirty-seven billion dollars was planned to be spent across Auckland’s transport network, funded through council, central government, user pays charges like public transport and parking fees, and the soon-to-be-scrapped Regional Fuel Tax.

It was in place until 2031, and included input from local boards, as well as an endorsement from the council’s planning committee.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown takes a test drive in Auckland’s first electric double decker bus during an event at Kinetic’s South Bus Depot in Mangere. Photo / Dean Purcell
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown takes a test drive in Auckland’s first electric double decker bus during an event at Kinetic’s South Bus Depot in Mangere. Photo / Dean Purcell

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance said giving control of the plan back to the council would restore accountability to its transportation arm.

Jordan Williams, a spokesman for the alliance, said Auckland Transport had become increasingly politicised.

“Auckland Transport is supposed to be accountable to Aucklanders, and serve the interests of Aucklanders,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s gone off on such an ideological path, it’s as if Aucklanders serve Auckland Transport.”

Williams said polling from the Ratepayers’ Alliance showed very few residents backed Auckland Transport’s priorities.

“What this should mean is that it incentivises a better alignment between what the public want and what Auckland Transport are incentivised to deliver,” Williams said.

Auckland Transport has been approached for comment.



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