Council Seeks More Transport Money


Auckland Council plans to tell the Transport Minister that Auckland’s transport system has suffered from under-investment over decades and Auckland’s contribution to the national gross domestic product needs to increase.

This includes major investment in rail, bus and ferry infrastructure and service improvements over the next 10 years and the need reduce the impacts of travel on the natural environment and communities.

The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding (GPS) sets out the government’s priorities for spending from the National Land Transport Fund over the next 10 years.  The GPS is issued by the Minister of Transport every three financial years. The current Government Policy Statement on Land Transport Funding 2009-2019  is due to be replaced in advance of the expiry of the current National Land Transport Programme on  July 1 2012.

The council’s  proposed submission says:

“The allocation of overall transport funds to Auckland needs to reflect not only the funds collected from transport users in Auckland, but also Auckland’s important role in achieving the national economic and transport goals.

It is only in recent years that the principle of hypothecation has applied nationally and to Auckland, whereby funding received from transport users is applied proportionally to those transport users.

Auckland’s transport system has suffered from under-investment over decades and Auckland’s contribution to the national gross domestic product needs to increase.

It is recognised that the government is investing over $1 billion a year in the Auckland transport system with the aim of enabling efficient and effective use of the transport network.  Investment in major transport capital infrastructure improvements over the next ten years is largely committed, with a focus on completing the core motorway network, improving connections with Waikato and Northland.

Crown funds have also been committed to an upgrading and electrification of the passenger rail network.

The next GPS needs to provide for new funding arrangements in relation to rail which are expected to be agreed over the coming months.

If the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) is to contribute to rail operational costs in Auckland, then the next GPS needs to ensure the allocation of funding to passenger transport is increased to take into account an agreed rail funding arrangement for Auckland. Auckland Council is also identifying options for funding in relation to the city centre rail link.”

Auckland's had under-investment in transport

The submission notes that discussions with central government will be needed to identify any funding allocation in the GPS towards aspects of that project, whether capital or operational.

The council says that alternative funding sources Auckland Council wishes to explore alternative funding sources for Auckland’s transport programme and work collaboratively with central government.

“The Regional Land Transport Strategy has identified a funding shortfall in order to deliver on the goals  and targets in the RLTS and a need to explore alternative transport funding arrangements.

If additional projects are brought forward into the first ten years, then this will be critical in terms of enabling those projects to proceed. There is an opportunity to achieve a greater transport programme and better outcomes through expanding transport funding arrangements.  There are likely to be some funding alternatives which require input from central government, such as a review of financial assistance rates, which Auckland Council wishes to work closely with central government on. It is accepted that investigations into alternative funding sources may not be done in time to affect the next GPS, but would be needed to affect subsequent GPS’s.”

The regional plan advocates the CBD rail link by 2021 and an airport rail service by 2031-40 with interim public transport improvements before then.

This graph contrasts the proposed expenditure in the first 10 years and the available funding in the current GPS:

One interesting figure: State highways in Auckland make up 6.2% of the network and carry 30% of the region’s traffic.

The submission notes the forthcoming Auckland Spatial Plan and the need to align Government / Auckland thinking and allow for flexibiliy in funding.

“For example, the Auckland plan may prioritise a programme to create an international city centre, which would include transport projects.”




  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gabriella Turek, AKT. AKT said: Auck council wants to tell Govt about Auck's under investment in Auck transport. Too right. #auckland [...]

  2. LucyJH says:

    Wow. one of the biggest differences there is actually how much more the council wants to spend on walking and cycling than the govt will fund. Maybe the rising price of petrol will change that…

  3. Jon Reeves in Switzerland says:

    I am sure the rising price of petrol - which will hit NZ this year, with or without the Libya issue, will have a major impact in funding for walking and cycling.

  4. Matt says:

    I think you’re both very hopeful about just how much heed Joyce and English will pay to the rising price of petrol. English is on record saying he thinks the impact of petrol cost on driving behaviour is negligible, and Joyce has made it abundantly clear that he agrees with the Minister of Finance’s assertions.

    The only way anything will change is if the Greens have a significant part in the next government.

  5. mark says:

    Joyce will need more than a few weeks of high prices to be either toppled from his perch, or change his mind.

    Walking & cycling funding in NZ are literally lost in the office stamp budget, the sums are so small. 0.7% of the NZTA funding allocation per year.

  6. Paul in Sydney says:


    The Greens in Aus have made big inroads into Aus politics of late. Are the NZ greens up to the job.

  7. Anthony says:

    Though I agree with the Greens on most issues, the others like legalizing pot is just ridiculous! and i agree with paul in sydders, they have always been in the back seat, can they put up with the huge job of running the country?

  8. George D says:

    No comments on how CHC will draw away funding? Gonna be some big fights/sacrifices in the next year.


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