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National wants to add to Auckland’s gridlock

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, May 2nd, 2018 - 16 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, economy, Economy, labour, national, phil twyford, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, supercity, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , ,

This post is about two ATAPs.

ATAP stands for Auckland Transport Alignment Project and is an attempt to reconcile and align Auckland’s and the Government’s transport aspirations.

The first ATAP report was issued in 2016. The results represented a tension between a relatively left wing Auckland Council and a right wing National Government. A clue was the introductions from then Minister of Transport Simon Bridges and then Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Brown’s comment that we needed a “sustainable funding track” was both prescient and realistic.

The tension no doubt contributed to the cause of the major hole in the report, a $4 billion deficit in what was needed and what was available in the first decade of ATAP.

The report was updated in 2017 to reflect faster population growth.  The Government’s opening up of immigration as an economic growth mechanism clearly came at a cost.  The revised funding gap was estimated to be $5,9 billion.

Then with the change of Government ATAP was reviewed.  A progressive Government and a more progressive Council had the opportunity to really align local and Government views.  And the new ATAP clearly shows a change in emphasis.  Instead of a road dominated response to congestion all modes are supported.  And the intent is that transport investment should drive Auckland’s urban form and not follow it.

Auckland’s debate about its future has really been sparked by the good people at GreaterAuckland who came up with the congestion free network.  I cannot think of another contribution to the discussion of the future of our transport system that has had such a profound event.  The congestion free network’s goals are clearly reflected in ATAP’s proposals.

And how about this? Five National aligned Auckland City councillors, Bill Cashmore, Linda Cooper, Christine Fletcher, Daniel Newman and wife of National Party President Peter Goodfellow Desley Simpson voted for the tax.

Why you may ask?  Well having a plan where you don’t have the money to complete it is an absolute waste of time.  And the $1.5 billion to be collected over the next decade will attract support from the National Land Transport Fund to the tune of $2.8 billion.

So with such overwhelming local political support and with a Colmar Brunton indicating majority support amongst Aucklanders for the poll you would think that National would walk back from its ideological hatred of a regional fuel tax.

If you did you would be disappointed.

From Stuff:

National has confirmed it would overturn Auckland’s regional fuel tax if elected in 2020.

Speaking at his first major economic speech in New Lynn, National leader Simon Bridges promised a repeal of the policy, which allows regional councils to levy an extra 10c tax on fuel within their region for a decade.

Auckland Council voted for the move on Monday, setting a new 11.5c/litre levy on fuel – the maximum amount plus GST – to apply from July 1. The Government has promised that in this term only Auckland Council will be allowed to actually use the scheme.

Bridges committed to reversing the legislation if elected in the speech.

“A National government under me will invest heavily in transport – as a former Transport Minister I know how important it is, and how frustrating it can be when the system doesn’t work – but we won’t be using a regional fuel tax to do so,” Bridges said.

“The tax is not needed, the enforcement is complicated, and it will hit you in the back-pocket.”

“A typical Auckland family will have to pay around $700 extra a year as a result of the fuel taxes the Government has announced.”

National’s figures need to be treated with a great deal of scepticism.  It is estimated that it will earn up to $150 million per annum.  Much of it will be paid by commercial interests and corporates.  Council’s analysis suggested a third although this seems too little to me.  If this is the case then it would cost the average Auckland dweller about $67 a year.  You would need a typical Auckland family to have 11 members to back up Bridges’s claim.

Even if you add in the FED increase and doubled the figure you would still not get near Bridges’ figures.  It would be illogical to do so given the context but it appears National may have added in the proposed FED increase

Auckland Council’s analysis is that for a motorist travelling 15,000 kilometers a year in an average fuel efficient vehicle the cost would be in the vicinity of $130.

And for business the Council analysis suggests that they would pay $51 million a year in increased transport costs but travel time savings would be in the vicinity of of $311 million presumably over the next decade.

Whatever the figures are Bridges’s claim needs to be treated with complete skepticism.

Five days ago National’s figures were hundreds of dollars a year.  They are now $700 although the context looks a bit rubbery.  At this rate the figure should hit $1,000 a year any time now.

And the big problem?  There is no proposal for a replacement source of funding.

If, god forbid, National gets back into power Auckland City faces uncertainty and disruption and much needed transport infrastructure will no longer be funded.  And the next time they claim to be good financial managers remind them that they cannot count or multiply or divide.  And that they left the Auckland region with a $6.9 billion hole in the budget it needs to meet the wishes and aspirations of Aucklanders for a functional transport system.

16 comments on “National wants to add to Auckland’s gridlock”

  1. ropata 1

    how the hell did Simon come up with those numbers… is steven joyce still trying to do maths for the Nats?

    maybe he counted the commercial vehicle fleet in his dodgy stats for ‘households’, it makes no sense

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      I haven’t seen any indication that National actually does any maths. All numbers that they mention seem to be BS invented to support their failed ideology because reality doesn’t.

  2. Tamati Tautuhi 2

    …. and National wonder why we have gridlock in Auckland when you add 100,000 people a year to the City without upgrading your Infrastructure ?

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    You would need a typical Auckland family to have 11 members to back up Bridges’s claim.

    Doesn’t Bill English have about that many kids?

    So, maybe they think that all families are the same as Bill English’s.

    Whatever the figures are Bridges’s claim needs to be treated with complete skepticism.

    Five days ago National’s figures were hundreds of dollars a year. They are now $700 although the context looks a bit rubbery. At this rate the figure should hit $1,000 a year any time now.

    The RWNJs, as per usual, have to lie to get any traction.

    Thing is, people will believe it because they want to and they won’t do their own calculations. It’s the ignorance caused by the latter that allows National’s lies to work.

    • Tricledrown 3.1

      Nationals policy of just build more motorways will cost Aucklanders thousands per year not 100’s.
      A car stuck in gridlock iddling is going to use $20 a day going nowhere .
      Businesses charge 25%more for services to cover having to higher more staff and vehicles to provide the same level of service.
      National ostriches who ostricise the New Zealand battlers with lies and spin.

  4. Graeme 4

    So, if soimon is going to axe the Regional Fuel Tax for Auckland, who’s going to pay for Auckland’s transport infrastructure?

    Obviously someone other than Aucklanders, try running that line in South Canterbury or Southland soimon.

    Or is the plan to not have any new transport infrastructure in Auckland, then we won’t need the Regional Fuel Tax.

  5. Timeforacupoftea 5

    I do wonder what the true costs will be from this RF-TAX as when it passes onto all transporters, council trucks lawnmowers etc.
    Groceries, retailers, taxi, vets, dentist, council rates.

    I would think it quite inflationary.
    I should stop wondering, we normally get a wage increase following ciggy and alcohol tax increases, I guess it will be the same here.

    • joe90 5.1

      Gridlock, the cost of the status quo is the problem, not your mentions of quite inflationary.

      • In Vino 5.1.1

        Hmmm, but dumber and dumber.

        Do I understand that Auckland has 800 new cars per week (or month?) put on the roads?
        There will never be any end to gridlock while such a stupid situation exists.

        Back when we had a healthier society, cars were hard to import. Deregulation and destruction of tariffs (bringing cheap imports) have got us to the situation where cars are now far too cheap for our own good. And gridlock will inevitably persist until we fix that problem.

        Heresy?? Are we so glued to the deregulation and low-tariff thing as to blind us to the obvious solution?

    • Tricledrown 5.2

      Less people on motorways more using public transport means you save heaps on fuel and time.
      Time wasted in gridlock is holding Aucklands economy back reducing productivity by 25% and the NZ economy by 7%.
      The flow on effects of Auckland being our biggest exporting and importing port as well as major tourist hub .
      National is hostage to it’s funders fundamentally griffters.

    • Tricledrown 5.3

      Timeforacup of realitea.
      The more gridlock the more waste of fuel machinery time loss of productivity is 10 times more for gridlock.
      The narrow istmus of Auckland will only thrive with major investment in public transport 8 times cheaper to construct 18 times more efficient to run per passenger km.

  6. Michelle 6

    Who cares what simon 10 bridges 10% said he will be a gone burger by then

  7. tsmithfield 7

    The problem with the regional fuel tax is that fuel companies can spread it around the country, as even Jacinda admits:

    So, it is scarcely regional if everyone pays for it anyway.

    Far better are toll roads. Only the users pay, and it usually makes much more sense to use the toll road compared to the free alternatives due to fuel and time savings.

    • lprent 7.1

      And if your daft government had actually gotten off their arse and done the job they are paid for 8 years ago when they mooted it, we could do it.

      But since the lazy timid layabouts didn’t and in fact disn’t do anything else useful for Auckland except when they were dragged kicking and screaming to do some work, then you can just suck it up.

      We don’t have time for the kind of leisurely navel gazing that characterised National ‘action’.

      Since National are a useless bunch representing you, their underfunding of Auckland while stuffing more people into Auckland, we have multiple infrastructure deficits. Perhaps you should direct the criticism where it would do the most good.

      A mirror? Or the oil companies?

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        Thanks for that.

        Rather than have a rant about the previous government, perhaps you could address the problem with the regional fuel tax.

        I understand the government has also announced an increase in the national fuel levy on top of the Auckland one.

        So, if the fuel companies are going to double up on people outside of Auckland by passing on the regional fuel tax as well as the increased levy, then why even bother having it? Why not just increase the National fuel levy accordingly, and dedicate some of the revenue to Auckland.

  8. R.P Mcmurphy 8

    I thought lp had been remarkably fairminded and even handed. the whole nationals party schtick has been to run everything down and then get some financiers in to suck up the profits from a shonkey PPP and then tell everybody that it is a natural law that some should own everything. Then they hide their intentions under a barrel of friedmanite malarkey. Nasty nasty people.

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