Launching the draft Plan for Auckland within five months of coming into office is impressive work by the Auckland Council, the Employers & Manufacturers Association says.
“Business is deeply interested in Auckland’s future development,” said Alasdair Thompson, EMA’s chief executive.
“Because more and more businesses are asking: ‘Why would I base my business here?’
“’Where are we going to get enough sufficiently skilled people in Auckland, and where are they going to want to live?’
“’Where in Auckland is there enough suitable, serviced commercial and industrial land?’
“The Auckland Plan sets out to answer questions like these and once we have digested it we will be commenting constructively on it and making additional proposals.
“One area where the Plan is light in the extreme is on how the new infrastructure is going to be paid for.
“Though the Council acknowledges there are alternatives to rates to funding its developments over time, new revenue streams will be needed. For example a $1 charge on all vehicles entering the motorway system would raise $365million a year, enough to service a loan of up to $5billion.
“Auckland’s proximity to Hamilton, the Bay of Plenty and Whangarei means these cities, and Auckland, need to work closely on their transport connectivity, including the ports.
“Rightly the Plan recognizes the important roles of education, transport, health, and that 20 per cent of the Auckland population has low skills and income – jobs for them in some areas of manufacturing, construction and services is an important issue.”