Release: Simeon Brown shortchanges Aucklanders

The Coalition Government’s plan to ‘get Auckland moving’ is a cuts cover-up that will ultimately cost Aucklanders more to move around the city, says Labour Auckland Issues spokesperson Shanan Halbert.

The Auckland Council submission in response to the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 suggests that Aucklanders will soon pay higher public transport costs and face reduced access to vital services which allow them to get around their city.

“Congestion and cost of living are key issues for Aucklanders, and Transport Minister Simeon Brown is set to make both matters worse in one fell swoop as he looks set to shortchange the city between $80 million to $100 million,” Shanan Halbert said.

“The GPS means not only will services be cut, but the infrastructure budgets would be immediately oversubscribed and Auckland Transport will be unable to fund planned projects – even a new footpath would be at risk.

“In February almost 382,000 Aucklanders used the public transport network. Auckland Council may need to make 30 percent cuts to services to make up for Minister Brown’s shortfall, imagine how many cars this would add to the roads.

“Minister Brown is piling costs on to Aucklanders after promising cost of living relief. Public transport users may face a 136 per cent fare increase or be forced to use their car and pay additional registration fees, congestion pricing and toll roads.

“Fare increases and cut services may not be enough, and the council has also indicated a potential 25 per cent increase in rates to make up the funding shortfall.

“Reduced, more expensive services are bad for people, congestion, and bad for the environment. Crucial routes will be harder to move through, ultimately making the city less economically efficient and productive. This sits in contrast to the government’s strategic priority of economic growth and productivity as described in the draft GPS.

“Aucklanders have been promised a faster, more efficient transport network, the GPS breaks this promise. The Government can choose to properly fund transport infrastructure for Aucklanders, but actions speak louder than words – tax cuts for landlords were higher on their priority list.

“Minister Brown’s so-called plan is no way to begin a working relationship with both the Council and the people of Auckland. It is vital that the Minister takes advice from the Tāmaki Makaurau advisory group.

“There is nothing efficient about Simeon Brown’s GPS, other than it being a quick slap in the face for Aucklanders. His plan will make it more expensive and harder for Aucklanders to get to work and get their kids to school.”

Stay in the loop by signing up to our mailing list and following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.