Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
The Auckland Council’s advisory group on transport funding has produced a remarkable political consensus with everyone in the tent – except the National Government, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford and Labour’s Transport spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.
“The group, initiated by Mayor Len Brown, includes the city’s business leaders, unions, the AA and transport campaigners and has unanimously backed the City Rail Link, and agreed the city will need both network charging and a regional fuel tax in order to fund the city’s ambitious 30 year transport plan,” Phil Twyford said.
“It is impressive that the Mayor’s ‘consensus-building’ group has hammered out a true consensus. This is an example of Auckland speaking with one voice.
“What is striking is that the group’s recommendations are a direct challenge to the National Government which is against the City Rail Link, and has ruled out a fuel tax and network charging.
“The problem here is that Auckland cannot and should not be expected to fund its transport agenda without central government paying its share. Aucklanders pay their taxes – why shouldn’t the Government contribute to projects like the City Rail Link?”
Iain Lees Galloway said it was heartening groups like the AA and transport campaigners that once would have been at loggerheads over transport priorities were now singing off the same song sheet.
“It is a recognition that as well as a functioning motorway network, Auckland needs a world class public transport system to avoid the roads grinding to a halt because of congestion.
“This shows that National is offside with Auckland on the single biggest issue facing the city: how to fix the gridlock. Even National’s usual political allies – the Chamber of Commerce and the Employers and Manufacturers Association – are backing the consensus group findings.
“Who is left standing with Gerry Brownlee arguing for his 1950s vision of motorways and sprawl? Only John Key and Steven Joyce it seems,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.