Christopher E Harris, PhD (Planning)
Two recent papers have described an â€˜Americanisation’ of transport policy in Auckland, New Zealand, characterised by the successful advocacy of motorways at the expense of rail. Arrested development of rail transit in Auckland presents a striking contrast to Wellington, New Zealand, where suburban rail is as well developed relative to population as in Perth (WA). Wellington’s suburban rail was installed as part of a state-led development planning programme. By the late 1940s this template was intended for extension to Christchurch and to Auckland, then undergoing rapid growth. Following a change of government in 1949 development planning ceased and a state highway fund was established to fund urban motorways instead. The principal conclusion is that state support for development planning along transit corridors may be a prerequisite for successful urban transit development.