Submission on the Future of Auckland Transport

Submissions close tomorrow for the Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill.

The CBT is very concerned that the current structure of the Bill will transfer much of the power over transport in Auckland away from elected local and regional politicians, towards unelected transport officials and central government.

Our full submission is here, and the summary is below the fold…

1. To ensure that those making important transport decisions are accountable to the people of Auckland, the transport functions to be assumed by Auckland Transport should instead be exercised by the Auckland Council – with transport being a key department of that council. In the case that this submission is rejected by the Select Committee, the CBT makes the following suggestions to improve the functioning of Auckland Transport.

2. To create better integration between railways, state highways and local roads, Auckland Transport should jointly manage (with NZTA and KiwiRail) all state highways and railways within Auckland.

3. Auckland Transport should not be exempt from having to comply with sections 59, 60, 64 and 74 of the Local Government Act 2002. These exemptions, if retained, will undermine Auckland Transport having to be accountable to the people of Auckland.

4. When preparing the Regional Land Transport Programme, Auckland Transport should have to ‘give effect to’ rather than just ‘be consistent with’ the Regional Land Transport Strategy.

5. Stronger links between the Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are necessary to ensure political accountability.

6. The current Auckland councils, rather than the Minister of Transport, should appoint the initial members of the board of Auckland Transport. Auckland Council should be required to appoint a completely new board, should they wish to do so, with a year of that Council being formed.

7. We submit that the proposed draft structure of Auckland Transport lacks sufficient emphasis on Public Transport infrastructure planning.

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