Outrage At $14m PT Money Gone


Outrage this afternoon as Auckland Council Transport Committee members swallowed the news that NZTA is taking another $14m transport funding away from Auckland.

Chair Mike Lee declared: “Auckland needs to speak out about this.”
Cr Chris Fletcher , who like Mike Lee is on the Auckland Transport board, called it a double whammy following the Auckland authorities having to now find another $40m for KiwiRail track access charges a year.

“I’m deeply concerned about this and its impact.”

The surprise notification from NZTA -made without any meeting with Auckland Mayor Len Brown- proposes reductions in the percentage that NZTA will fund in relation to specific investment categories within public transport, transport planning and road user safety activity classes.

The NZTA released this only mid last month and have demanded responses by July 21.

Auckland will face the loss of $14m per annum as applied to the 2011/12 budget.

The meeting heard that this will have to be recouped by an increase in Auckland Council funding or a reduction in Auckland Transport activity.

Either way something is going to give. And it won’t be pretty.

Integrated funding development under threat?

Here’s the likely effect:

Public transport infrastructure renewal and improvements - dear to our hearts - is seriously affected by this.

That includes integrated ticketing and the improvements to real time information. In that area, the total budget allocation of $71m for 2011/12 loses an astonishing $9.63m. That will have to be sourced from shifted allocation of Council expenditure - or rates.

School travel is another badly affected - losing $1.75m

The Committee passed a number of motions concerning this terrible state of affairs:

  • These argue that a special case be made for rail related improvements in the Auckland region and be phased in over a longer time period
  • They oppose the proposed reductions in the public transport funding especially considering the development taking place for Aukland commuter rail

Cr Penny Webster, former Mayor of Rodney, was the lone voice against the opposition saying that roading improvements were needed in her area.





  1. Patrick d says:

    The government wants to play mean, then why doesn’t Auckland play hard ball. No rates money on road maintenance, redirect it to pt instead. Tell the public to complain to the minister, after all their petrol taxes and RUC’s pay for roads.

  2. George D says:

    Ouch. A fight’s brewing.

  3. Luke says:

    why did the Council go for such a low rates increase, surely could have had a tiny bit higher to make up for these cuts.
    Still hate how the govt is outsourcing its cutting to the council to pay for unwanted RONS.
    Hope smiley John gets the hard questions asked of him about why this is happening

  4. Jon C says:

    @Luke As mentioned in the story this has only just come out of the blue in the last few weeks. Len Brown was not even warned.

  5. Buffalo Bob says:

    @Luke hardly likely to happen…Labour’s questions are about as patsy as some of the National BackBencher’s.

  6. Cam says:

    And so it continues. They are just whittling away at PT funding. Now they are talking about more autonomy for local metro rail which is just code for less funding.

    This government is going to be very damaging to Auckland’s prospects as a city long term.

  7. Commuter says:

    This is something I can’t understand. One of Joyce’s appointments to the AT board is Geoff Dangerfield, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Transport Agency.

    According to the AT website, his previous roles include ‘Chief Executive at Ministry of Economic Development, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury in charge of Asset and Liability Management Branch, advisor on economic and fiscal strategy and Treaty settlements in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and assessing public sector resource investment and regional infrastructure projects at the Ministry of Works and Development.’ Whoopdeedoo, one of the ‘warriors’ against PT.

    Now it seems to me that there’s a bit of conflict of interest involved in this. On the one hand Dangerfield is responsible for providing (or in this case withdrawing) funding for AT yet, on the other hand he’s a member of a board that, ostensibly, has a remit to ensure that Auckland ratepayers’ (ie shareholders) funds are spent wisely and efficiently. Cutting a subsidy doesn’t fit with that remit. Are AT directors expected to conform with the duties of a director under the relevant (section of the) Companies Act?

  8. Matt says:

    Commuter, Dangerfield will have had to excuse himself from one board meeting or the other, probably the AT meeting, when the topic has arisen.

    I’m stunned that someone with such a conflicted position ever gets to sit down at a meeting, to be honest. His declared conflicts will cover such a broad swathe of AT’s operations that he’d be seriously compromised if he spoke on anything more than the colour of new buses or the cost of trimming the grass on median strips.

  9. Jon C says:

    @Commuter @Matt You have the wrong end of the stick I am afraid.. No conspiracy, no conflict.
    AT has a representation from NZTA just as there are 2 from Auckland Council (Mike Lee and Chris Fletcher).
    Having an NZTA person there is extremely helpful for the board discussions just as Auckland Council’s transport committee yesterday called on reps from NZTA and Auckland Transport who were present to answer their questions and give advice.
    This is a new age of joint discussions which is why things are getting done rather than the fragmented bodies of old and if you attend any of the meetings you will see it is working well.

  10. Brian says:

    Hey Buffalo Bod, Labours questions are Patsy because Mr Speaker goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure tha HIS Ministers don’t have to answer the hard questions!!!!!
    Good on you Penny Webster!! Thought you were supposed to be interested in the whole of Auckland City - apparently you only care about your own area. Just as well the rest of the Council have a few clues and can see the bigger picture!!!

  11. greenwelly says:

    @Jon C,@Luke While the 50% FAR for infrastructure has certainly not been able to be factored in the current year’s rates and a response is wanted by 21 July. Any change in the FAR for infrastructure is not going to happen until 1 July 2012, so they will be able to factor it in to the rates for next year.



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