The Government’s failure to invest in infrastructure to service its Special Housing Areas is dumping massive costs on Auckland ratepayers, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
Auckland Council has declined to approve three new Special Housing Areas on the city fringes, citing lack of investment in infrastructure to support the developments.
“If the Government does not pay its fair share, that burden either falls on the ratepayer or developments get built without the infrastructure they need.
“Two hundred thousand extra people, 80,000 new dwellings and 60,000 extra jobs are planned for Auckland’s North West, but the Government hasn’t thought about how these people are going to get to work.
“They are splattering Special Housing Areas around the city, 84 in Auckland so far, without thinking about what it means for transport infrastructure.
“Auckland’s North West Motorway already looks like a giant parking lot at peak hours. With such big planned population increases in the North West, SH16 will jam up altogether.
“The Government should be investing in a dedicated busway on SH16 like the successful one on the North Shore which currently carries the equivalent of three lanes of traffic into the city every morning.
“But having blown the national transport budget on wasteful projects, the Government has no money left to service the regions or Auckland's growth.
“Although developers are responsible for laying roads, power and water pipes inside their new developments – and Councils can levy them for a share of wider infrastructure costs –big new developments on the city fringes still impose a heavy cost on local government to connect these utilities.
“The Government has blindly been pursuing its Special Housing Areas without thinking through the cost to the ratepayer,” Phil Twyford says.