Respect the Citizenry
On Tuesday the Governing Body will meet in an extraordinary session to work through the amendment the Mayor will be tabling around the City Rail Link
The Presser from the Mayoral Office on the Situation:
Mayor proposes amendment to CRL timing in draft LTP
Following discussions with Audit NZ, the Mayor is proposing an amendment in Council’s draft Long-term Plan 2015-2025 on the timing for construction of Auckland’s number one transport priority – the City Rail Link (CRL).
In its draft budget, Council has the CRL project commencing in 2015/16, based on an assumption government’s funding contribution for the project would also start next year, five years earlier than government has so far indicated.
On Tuesday 9 December, council will consider changing the assumption of timing of the government contribution to 2018/19. This will mean enablement works of $280 million will still take place in the first three years of the plan, but construction will not start until 2018/19. This will also delay the completion date to 2023.
Mayor Len Brown says:
“We have a track record of success with central government when it comes to the CRL – we have moved them from a position of total opposition to one of commitment for funding half the project from the year 2020,” says Mayor Len Brown.
“Yes, we still have to work with government on final timing, but I’m confident we can come to an agreement and get on and get this job done.
“I understand why Audit NZ feel that we need to take a more conservative approach to our financial projections and I am proposing that we develop the LTP based on a later timing of government contribution.”
Public consultation on the draft LTP begins January 23 next year. The final plan is due for adoption June 30, 2015.
The Agenda with the financials:
Now our Deputy Mayor did say this in response:
City RailLink to be put back by a couple of years. Disappointed that the government are taking so long to catch up with the Auckland reality which is that the link is vital to the economic future of our region. 30 years of waiting have made the 2-3 year delay tolerable but we have work to do with the relevant ministers to get the timing and the funding sorted.
….a deadend train station cannot generate the PT numbers without more trains in service! Auckland is 1/3 of New Zealand time the government treated us fairly.
My response was this:
Sorry to say Penny but the 2018 main project start date has long been predicted. Regardless of having the engineering capacity ready (which according to NZTA is 2018 any how by the looks of it) the extra three years would allow the financials that werent tolls or extra taxes to be sorted.
Recommendation: Pass a Notice of Motion on Tuesday that would allow no preference in funding options as “suggested” by the Council. But rather allow the ratepayers to pick an option of their own choice or creation (or even a do nothing) and the Governing Body to consider them all then put in place for the LTP in July next year.
Recommendation 2: Pass a Notice of Motion to overrule the Finance and Performance Committee in selling Lot 59 land in Manukau. Hold on to that land and allow the Development Auckland CCO to decide in September 2015 when it is onstream. I have a LGOIMA away with Council in anycase around the Manukau Interchange any how to see what the status of it is seeming AT is conflicted in either building it next year or having it delayed until 2021 owing to “budget cuts”
Note none of this disables the progress of the enabling works Downtown which should be budgeted for by now. But rather the main project in line with expectations and getting the actual alternative funding sources properly sorted (that yes I have presented on at the ADC in October)
Those Notice of Motions would respect the intelligence of the citizenry and allow us to decide how WE are to fund these transport projects. NOT what the Mayor wants and tries to shimmy on us through a perceived option of choice which is nothing but tokenism.
So if any Councillor has their wits about them they would introduce those Notice of Motions tomorrow and get them passed. Or Council will find a very hostile City come March next year when the Long Term Plan submissions close.
The Government has effectively come to the party, the Auditor General has made her ruling to which Council must oblige. Now respect our intelligence and allow us to choose the funding mechanisms freely seeming we are the ones in the end paying for it…