A joint report from Auckland Council and the government released today (Friday 19 February) is being hailed as a giant step forward in agreeing Auckland’s transport investments for the next 30 years.
Mayor Len Brown says the Foundation Report from the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) shows that the government and Auckland Council already have a high level of agreement on the key issues future investment must address to meet Auckland's transport needs.
“It is clear that the views between the council and the government are extremely close in thinking.”
The Foundation Report outlining current and future transport challenges for the region marks the end of the first stage of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project which will agree on how the transport system needs for Auckland are developed.
You can read the report and background here.
A united approach
“For decades, Auckland local government and various governments bickered about the city’s transport issues, but no more.
“We are working well with the government with the housing accord and have an excellent working relationship with Simon Bridges, Bill English and their colleagues on this transport agreement. We have a shared interest to maximise value for money across all forms of transport investments throughout Auckland."
Len Brown says the united approach is crucial to Auckland’s continuing success as a highly-sought after place to live and do business in.
He says the government and the council recognise the pressure being put on Auckland’s infrastructure and the importance for Auckland to cope with its growth as the engine room of the New Zealand economy.
Additional 800 Aucklanders each week
Auckland’s population is growing at 3 per cent a year, or more than 800 new people a week. Over the past two years, Auckland’s economy has been growing at an extra $3 billion a year.
Councillor Bill Cashmore, who assists Mayor Brown in the governance of the project, says “Auckland’s growth means the government and the council need to put aside politics, agree the facts, design the responses and jointly deliver transport investment through all parts of the region.
A few weeks ago, Prime Minister John Key announced certainty for the council over the funding for the City Rail Link (CRL).
Len Brown says, “With the government support for the CRL and now the first stage completed of the alignment project, we are on track to deliver that common view of Auckland's transport future by August this year.
“Then we will be able to conclude the five years of work on alternative transport funding sources by reaching agreement with the government. ATAP represents the removal of the final hurdle for bridging that $12 billion transport funding gap.”