Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, April 4th, 2018 - 89 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, climate change, david seymour, Economy, Environment, global warming, greens, infrastructure, labour, national, nz first, phil twyford, public transport, same old national, sustainability, transport - Tags: simon wilson
The Government has released a draft Government Policy Statement on Transport for consultation. A radical shake up of the Transport system is being proposed. Changes include:
The proposal has met with approval with PT advocates such as the good folk at the Greater Auckland website. Their conclusion is enthusiastic:
Overall the draft GPS is fantastic and the excellent text is backed up with the funding to support it. We’re entering into a brave new world.
Simon Wilson in the Herald is also positive about the announcement.
Transport minister Phil Twyford was quite excited yesterday afternoon. “We’re changing the world,” he told the Herald. And, he added, “It’s going to mean a quantum shift in the way we invest in Auckland.”
He was not wrong. The obvious changes to transport funding are that public transport and active transport (walking and cycling) will get substantially more money, at the expense of the former government’s Roads of National Significance (RONS). But there’s a lot more to it than that.
One big change is that the Land Transport Fund will now cover spending across all land transport modes. This means the new transport strategy should be able to fully integrate planning for roads and rail, public transport and private use, existing bus and rail services and the proposed new rapid transit network.
The increased spend will be funded by an increase in petrol and diesel taxes of 10c a litre. National is already complaining but it should be remembered that they were planning a similar increase, but to build more roads of national significance rather than transform our urban centres. And an unlikely critic has reminded everyone about this.
David Seymour has essentially accused National of being hypocrites. He has said this:
National Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams has slammed the policies of former Transport Minister Simon Bridges”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
Yesterday, the Government revealed it was proposing a fuel tax increase of between 9 and 12 cents a litre. Aucklanders face hikes of 20 cents a litre if a regional fuel tax is also introduced.
On Twitter, Adams slammed the move as a ‘tax and spend Labour Government…in full force.’
However, documents released under the Official Information Act show that former Transport Minister, and now National Leader, Simon Bridges was also considering increasing fuel taxes.
It is the height of hypocrisy for the Nats to criticise a move they were ready to implement themselves.”
There will be interesting discussions on who is in charge of the roll out. Twyford’s timeline suggests that the New Zealand Transport Agency rather than Auckland Transport may primarily be in control. His related proposal a big Urban Renewal Agency for Auckland could be wheeled in because doing Transport projects and urban renewal at the same time creates all sorts of synergies.
And in a related development Westpac Bank has concluded that taking action now on climate change by changing the way the country does business could save the country $50 billion by 2050. From the Herald:
Immediate action on climate could save New Zealand tens of billions of dollars, according to a Westpac report.
Based on research conducted by EY and Vivid Economics, the report shows the New Zealand economy could benefit by $30 billion by 2050 if government and business take early action on climate change.
It also shows that New Zealand could simultaneously reduce carbon emissions and achieve economic growth.
The report models two scenarios: one that involves an earlier and smoother transition to a lower carbon economy, another that hypothesises a decade-long delay in action followed by a shock event that forces the nation to act.