Auckland's biggest problem is Wellington

Tuesday 1 November 2011, 8:58AM
By Greenpeace New Zealand


Auckland planners must account for the realities of the 21st century, rather than clinging to the car-based dreams of the 1950s, if the city is to prosper, and improve its liveability, says Greenpeace New Zealand in a submission to be made today on Auckland’s Draft Plan.

“Auckland biggest problem right now is the bad choices being made by Transport Minister Steven Joyce,” says Greenpeace NZ Climate Campaigner Steve Abel.

“Aucklanders pay their taxes and road user charges, which go into a funding pool

controlled by Wellington. Politicians like Mr Joyce then ignore Aucklanders’ preference for public transport improvements like the CBD loop, instead prioritising billions of dollars of largely unnecessary pet roading projects,” says Abel.

“The Government is spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars trying to attract the international oil industry to drill dangerous deep water wells off New Zealand. Meanwhile the Government is telling Aucklanders that it won’t pay for the public transport system we need for a sustainable post-oil economy,” Abel says.

“Central Government funded most of the infrastructure needed for the Rugby World Cup itself. So why not do the same for the CBD loop? The economic, transport and social advantages for the region, and so the county, would be enormous,” says Abel.

Greenpeace NZ’s submission advocates the scrapping of the Puhoi-Wellsford ‘Holiday Highway,’ in favour of safety improvements to the existing road, which Greenpeace also called for in January this year, in a submission to the NZTA.

Over the weekend the Labour Party became the latest to call for the dumping of the ‘Holiday Highway.’

“It’s nice to see that, finally, the political parties are starting to see the ‘Holiday Highway’ for what it is – an economically unjustifiable project that would come at the expense of what would be huge leap forward for public transport in Auckland,” says Abel.