ARC 30 Year Plan: What Now?


This afternoon, the ARC’s regional transport committee put the finishing touches to its 30 year transport strategy.

It’s worked hard on the document, and engaged in the democractic process of inviting and considering submissions.

The final “draft” now goes to the full ARC council meeting with an executive summary for final stamping on Monday night.

The big question now is not what’s in the report, but will it be just an academic exercise?

The yet-to-be-appointed new Auckland Transport officers can either embrace it or throw it in the bin and do their own.

ARC transport committee Chair, Christine Rose, told the committee that she and the committee should be proud of what they have ended up with.

The report would be forwarded to the new “Auckland Transport or Transport Auckland or whatever it will be called” showing the new body what the ARC would wish to happen in the next 30 years and the wish is that the body carry on with the projected work.

She says it would be wrong if presently elected officials didn’t deliver such a direction for the next 30 years to the new body.

BIG QUESTION? What will Auckland's next 30 year strategy be?

This afternoon’s final changes included a nod to recognise “better future planning of rail network improvements” and noted that KiwiRail had yet to provide a written submission.

A report to the committee said that during the hearings on its plan, “it became clear that KiwiRail does not have a robust forward plan for network improvements in the Auckland area that can be set alongside the plans of NZTA, ARTA and the Territorial Authorities.

“KiwiRail is a new organisation and the lack of strong forward planning is understandable.  Issues that particularly concerned the ARC hearings sub-committee were:

  • the potential for conflict between increasing passenger train frequencies and increasing volumes of rail freight volumes
  • lack of clarity about the potential need for a third rail track between Wiri and Westfield
  • lack of information about the need for investment in the North Auckland Line.

The subcommittee has written to KiwiRail on the matter and added in the words to the executive summary:

“Local government and central government agencies will need to work together to implement the strategy.  There will be a need to integrate funding, operating and construction projects, and to undertake the investigations and forward planning which will enable future projects to be properly identified and to be constructed when necessary.  NZTA and local government are active in investigating future projects but KiwiRail is a relatively new organisation and there is a need for KiwiRail to fully resource the development of a robust forward programme.”

ARC officers will remind KiwiRail of the need for a report.

The draft report before this afternoon’s meeting contained as part of the 30-year strategy:

  • Electrify the rail network
  • Construct the CBD rail loop by 2021
  • Integrated ticketing by 2010
  • Investigate extending the rail network to the North Shore

Originally the draft also suggested:

  • Construct an airport rail loop 2041-2040
  • Construct the Avondale-Southdown rail connection 2031-2040
  • Extend the Northern Busway to Orewa (Constellation to redvale 2021-2030, redvale-Orewa 2031-2040)
  • Develop the Panmure-Botany-Manukau bus connection as a QTN upgrading to RTN 2021-2030
  • Developing Henderson-Westgate-Albany bus connection as an QTN

The committee this afternoon changed that to add: “The timing of these is indicative only. Actual timing will vary depending on the outcome of the investigation and changing circumstances.”

It also added on the policy for airport rail the words: “This strategy also includes provision of rail to the airport in the same general corridor. Improvements to airport road access will need to be compatible with the construciton of th airport rail loop.”

Chair Christine Rose said that it made sense for “airport rail and road to be compatible,” hence the change to the words.

The draft report also supports “investigation” of a SH1 Puhoi-Wellsford road of national significance.




  1. ingolfson says:

    KiwiRail also doesn’t have a non-voting director on the Auckland Transport board (unlike NZTA!) which I think is a major oversight. I mean, they are the main PT organisation, and they have no direct link???

  2. rtc says:

    Of course they don’t have a direct link, the new Steve Joyce Transport Auckland agency has barely any mention of PT in its structure, it’s been set up to push roads and highways not rail or PT.

    Besides, Joyce’s 10 year strategy for Kiwirail is to shrink it to a business of 2-3 lines and nothing else.

  3. Brent C says:

    Can the Mayor appoint a Kiwi Rail member to join the board? If the Mayor can fire members then I’d hope they would have a say on who is in.

  4. Carl says:

    any chance of “electric rail to pukekohe” what i don’t get is, why only do parts of it, ffs do the whole lot of what is used now.

    all this bs about not enough traffic from papakura south, just build the electric rail all the way to puekekohe, cause come the future, it still wont get done.

    how will the diesel trains run from pukekohe to auckland, they wont, so i bet people would have to switch at papakura, which will lead to people getting back in their cars again.

    its doomed before it even starts…. 30-40 year plan, how about start working 7 days a week 12 hours a day.. the labour force here needs to wake up and see what goes on in europe and asia.

    it takes for ever and a day to get anything done down under..

  5. Jeremy Harris says:

    It is the best transport plan Auckland has had for 60 years…


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