Budget 2014 addresses Auckland housing and progresses transport issues
New Zealand economy reliant on vibrant, productive and efficient commercial capital
Budget 2014 includes measures to address Auckland’s housing issues and funding for new transport projects for our largest city.
Auckland has an ambitious plan to become the world’s most liveable city and top of the list of urban issues is to tackle housing and transport shortages.
Deloitte partner Tim Arbuckle points out that Auckland makes up over a third of New Zealand’s population and a greater proportion of GDP.
“Simply put, Auckland matters greatly to the economic prosperity of New Zealand. Our economy needs a vibrant, productive and efficient commercial capital, and an improved transport system is vitally important,” says Mr Arbuckle.
Auckland’s population is expected to grow at 1.7 times the national average, which means over 20,000 extra people per annum over the next 10 years. Already a car town, population growth means up to 15,000 extra cars added each year to its already congested roads. Auckland’s share of road congestion costs has been estimated to be over $1b per annum or 70% of the total for the entire country.
“Unfortunately, pressures on Auckland’s transport infrastructure are growing and will not wait. Providing better access for people to get to their place of work is good for productivity and the economy. It is pleasing to see the Government maintaining the momentum on transport issues in the Budget, ” says Mr Arbuckle.
As a car based low density city, Auckland is focused on building both capacity and resilience into its road network as well as boosting investment in public transport to achieve a significant mode shift and doubling of patronage. Funding from Budget 2014, as well as past Budgets, are supporting large scale transport projects, which when completed will make significant difference to Auckland’s transport network.
The Auckland Plan identifies three high priority next generation transport projects for Auckland: City Rail Link (CRL); AMETI and the East-West Link; and the additional Waitemata Harbour crossing. In a recent independent review of the Auckland Plan the CRL project was identified as a genuine city-shaping infrastructure project that will alter accessibility contours across the metropolitan geography in Auckland, influencing the local decisions of households and businesses.
“While Budget 2014 allocates funding for investigating the East-West Link and AMETI, CRL has missed out for now. Auckland is continuing detailed planning for the CRL and any commitment of central government funding in future Budgets will no doubt be on a co-funding basis with the Auckland region,” concludes Mr Arbuckle.