Mayor Goff Prepares Final 2018-2028 Long Term Plan for Governing Body Ratification. Mixed Bag Overall

Still City Centre first at expense of the Suburbs

Transport still a massive winner for Southern Auckland however!

 

Mayor Goff has released the final draft version of the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan – the master Auckland Council budget document (that is updated every three years). The full Long Term Plan is below:

LTP 2018-2028 final draft 1

 

LTP 2018-2028 final draft 2

 

 

Some key highlights:

Phil Goff’s 10-year budget plans
• Rates increase of 2.5 per cent for the first two years and 3.5 per cent thereafter
• Regional petrol tax of 11.5c a litre
• New water quality targeted rate to raise $452m*
• New environmental targeted rate for protecting kauri and native flora and fauna to raise $311m*
• Climate change response fund of $40m* and $90m* for coastal protection work
• $100m for America’s Cup
• $120m* contestable fund for sports and recreation facilities
• $20m* to help restore cutbacks at Auckland Art Gallery
• Expand Southern Initiative social programme to West Auckland and $475,000 to City Mission
• Resumption of reducing the difference between business rates and household rates
• The disestablishment of Auckland Council Investments Ltd
*spending over 10 years

quote context: http://pllqt.it/Q0sL5m

 

Looks good?

 

Nope:

The Labour mayor also plans social spending by expanding the Southern Initiative into West Auckland with an additional $5m to provide life skills and job training in poorer communities.

quote context: http://pllqt.it/KMVqmA

 

Given the Southern Initiative was given an insulting $1m/year (mostly to cover wages and building leases) the $5m to cover both areas is still insulting especially when politicians can splash $100m on the America’s Cup – an extremely City Centre centric activity and proposal.

 

Then this:

The budget divvies up $200m among the 21 local boards, who were each asked to put forward a single new project they would like to deliver for their communities.
It does, however, have a city-centric focus with $100m set aside over the next few years for the America’s Cup, continued funding for the council’s half share of the $3.4 billion City Rail Link and new downtown bus and ferry facilities.

quote context: http://pllqt.it/ceb4sX

 

Now if the funding for the Southern and Western Initiatives was insulting enough then the continued City Centre-centric planning really ices the cake. $200m over 21 Local Boards so they can fund a single project of theirs (they had to pick from a list of five from each respective Local Board) but we can dump $100m in a City Centre-centric boat race. That $100m if applied to either the Local Boards or the two Initiatives would have provided more social and equitable benefits across a wider area of Auckland than a boat race ever could. If I was to put $100m from the America’s Cup into the Southern and Western Initiatives that would be a lot of cash for: upskilling, first home financing, and other social programs in two sub regions that have around 800,000 people in them. $100m into the Local Board would have given them two projects to fund rather than the paltry one – heck Papakura might have even got its Greenways program that everyone has forgotten about. Put it this way I can think $100m better ways to invest that money into a wider catchment of people than a single boat race contained to a very small portion of Auckland.

 

Now then the LTP is not all bad either

 

The Long Term Plan also confirms the $28 billion transport spend as confirmed in the Auckland Transport Alignment Program that was announced in April. This means (along with the passing of the fuel tax) Southern Auckland does pick up:

  1. The Eastern Busway from Panmure to Botany rather than just to Pakuranga as originally forecast
  2. Mill Road safety upgrades ($500m) and a new interchange in Drury South
  3. The Airport to Puhinui section of the Southern Airport Line (including a new interchange at Puhinui Station) to be done by 2021 in time for APEC. Further extensions to Manukau and Botany are being lobbied for with Light Rail also being pushed

 

The Eastern Busway will certainly help Botany and Howick commuters with alternatives getting to Botany and the City Centre (via a transfer an Panmure Station) while the Southern Airport Line 9in its various stages) will also help ALL of Southern Auckland (exception of Mangere – but they are getting the Northern Airport Line (funded separately)) accessing the employment centres at: the Airport, Manukau City Centre, East Tamaki and Highbrook (when the feeder busses are also built) and Botany Metropolitan Centre. Rather than taking 70mins on a Friday from the Airport to home in Papakura I can do it in 35mins by train and bus/light rail.

 

 

Just a shame we cant beef up The Southern Initiative more as transit access improves across the South opening up the employment complexes to more of the population that do not have or do not want to use a car. As they employment centres open that upskilling and first home financing (I am think of our NEET’s (Not in Employment, Education or Training)) becomes extremely critical given both high social deprivation and joblessness in Southern Auckland!

 

All in all a mixed bag with the Long Term Plan. Yes it is a City Builder but it is very uneven and inequitable to how that building is done. Yes Southern Auckland gets three major transport wins that opens up better access between residents and employment centres in the South. BUT the social initiatives like upskilling, first home financing and social programs through the Southern and Western Initiatives are still heavily underfunded while $100m gets sunk into a boat race that benefits a very small portion of the City (remember both Initiatives have a catchment area of around 800,000).

 

Could the LTP do better? Always!

Can we do some slight improvements on it to get better and more equitable outcomes without breaking the bank? Then divert that $100m into the two Initiatives and the 21 Local Boards!

 

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff
http://www.forabetterauckland.org.nz

 

All quotes from the NZ Herald.

 

From the Office of the Mayor Phil Goff

‘Build-it Budget’ delivers largest ever investment in AKL infrastructure

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff today released his final proposal for Auckland Council’s 10-year Budget setting out $26.2 billion of investment over the next decade to address critical issues of traffic congestion, housing affordability and protecting the environment.

The Mayor’s final 10-year Budget proposal contains:

  • Largest ever council transport investment of $12 billion over the next 10 years (including $4.3 billion from leveraging the Regional Fuel Tax).
  • Cleaning up Auckland’s waterways and beaches with new investment of $452 million in stormwater infrastructure through a water quality targeted rate.
  • Protecting Kauri and our native flora and fauna with an additional $311 million from a natural environment targeted rate to fund pest and disease control.
  • Adapting to Climate Change and protecting communities with the establishment of a $40 million Climate Change Response Fund and an additional $90 million for coastal asset management.
  • Investing in sports and culture by establishing a contestable fund of $120 million for sports and recreation facilities and an additional $20 million funding for the Auckland Art Gallery.
  • Delivering improved social outcomes with the expansion of The Southern Initiative into West Auckland to increase employment and life skills for young Aucklanders and $475,000 to help Auckland City Mission redevelop its Hobson Street site.
  • Restricting the average general rate rise to 2.5 per cent for this term of council and continuing Value for Money programme of section 17a reviews and a new corporate property strategy saving $117 million to deliver efficiency and effectiveness at council.

 

Mayor Phil Goff said, “This build-it budget is going to get Auckland moving with investment of more than $26 billion over ten years to reduce transport congestion, unlock greenfield housing development, clean up our beaches and protect our environment.

“For too long Auckland has suffered from underinvestment with the critical issues of transport, housing and our environment being left in the too hard basket. This council is tackling these long standing issues with the largest ever investment in Auckland infrastructure.

“The Government and Council are addressing congestion with $28 billion of transformative investment in our transport network and Aucklanders will contribute their fair share through a regional fuel tax (RFT) at 10 cents per litre plus GST.

“When combined funding from Government subsidies, the RFT will unlock $4.3 billion additional investment across our region increasing the provision of public transport, improving our roads, cycle and walkways and making Auckland less congested and safer.

“The consultation showed that Aucklanders care about the environment with strong support for both proposed targeted rates to address serious environmental issues in our region.

“$452 million from a new water quality targeted rate will clean up our beaches and harbours by funding the building of much needed stormwater infrastructure. This will reduce wastewater overflows into our harbours by up to 90% and allow us to do in 10 years what would normally have taken 30.

“A new natural environment targeted rate will allow the investment of $311 million to address the spread of Kauri dieback disease and tackle the pests that are killing our native birds and trees.

“Climate change is a reality we have to address and as a coastal city Auckland must adapt. I am proposing an additional $90 million to invest in our coastal assets to protect our communities, and want to see an increase in operating expenditure to develop coastal management plans.

“Earlier this year we saw the damage that increasing cyclones can do to our city. Severe weather events will become more commonplace as our climate changes and the establishment of a Climate Change Response Fund of $40 million will ensure we can better address emergency infrastructure repair work as a result of climate-related events.

“Unprecedented population growth has placed significant pressure on our city. Our priorities, therefore, must be to provide infrastructure needed for transport, housing and a clean environment. However, within the constraints of our resources, we also need to promote the innovation, diversity, inclusiveness, and cultural and recreational facilities that make Auckland a great city.

“Council is working with our Local Boards and Independent Maori Statutory Board to deliver positive outcomes across all of Auckland for our local communities and for Maori.

“We are also establishing a contestable Sports and Recreation Facilities Investment Fund of $120 million that will enable Council to work with community groups to increase the provision of indoor and outdoor facilities needed to cater to a growing population.

“The Auckland Art Gallery is a centre of cultural life and a major visitor attraction, and will receive an additional boost of $2 million funding per year.

“As well as building infrastructure I want to help build careers for our young people. Expanding The Southern Initiative into West Auckland with an additional $5 million operational funding will provide life skills and jobs in poorer communities through social procurement and trades training.

“We will continue to look after those Aucklanders most in need, contributing $475,000 to the Auckland City Mission to improve their Hobson Street property. We are proposing $3.7 million to Surf Lifesaving Northern Region to invest in the development of their facilities, and $2 million to the Auckland Rescue Centre.

“This budget increases investment in critical infrastructure while keeping rate rises low and reasonable. Auckland is experiencing unprecedented population growth and we still need to do more. I will continue to work with government and council to develop innovative ways to fund further investment in our city,” said Phil Goff.

Council’s Governing Body will decide on the Mayor’s final 10-year Budget proposal on Thursday before a final decision is taken at the end of June to strike the new budget for 2018 – 2028.

All supporting documents can be found here: http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/

 

—ends—

 

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