But Americas Cup continues while borders still sealed
On Friday Mayor Phil Goff released his “Emergency Budget” for consultation with Auckland. While we know cuts were coming along most budget lines what was not expected was Auckland Council putting dollars in front of lives.
America’s Cup Continues, Vision Zero gets slashed
So the America’s Cup continues to get its red carpet and all funding in this Budget. This is despite the borders being sealed, the Northern Hemisphere being ravaged by Covid (and the USA with riots) and the America’s Cup having very little benefit outside the City Centre (it will not add one more job to South Auckland).
But in the same Budget document on Page 26 the very same Mayor thought it was okay (so did the Governing Body as they have to approval the Budget for consultation) to slash the Vision Zero Budget by $78 million to a paltry $36m.
What is Vision Zero?
Vision Zero is a transport policy where authorities take all active steps to drive the death and injury rates on our transport network to zero. Basically even one death or serious injury is too many and Vision Zero recognises this. Unlike conventional engineer approaches which sees deaths and injuries as both inevitable and a hindrance to Levels of Service. So they will engineer solutions to counter this. Inevitability (thus mitigation) does not equally avoidability and remedy.
Auckland’s death and serious injuries rates (DSI) rocketed from 2013-2017 until Vision Zero finally kicked in and the DSI rate started tracking down through to last year.
Goff and the Governing Body want to slash the Vision Zero Budget as part of a $525m saving drive. The problem is as Auckland Transport would comment is slashing THAT budget line means more deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
What the comment says is that if the Budget is slashed by $78m then we are looking at up to 90 extra deaths or serious injuries on our roads per year or 900 over a decade. Given Vision Zero treats even one death or one extra death as unacceptable then why are the Councillors thinking 90 is perfectly acceptable to save dollars in a budget?
What makes it even more incredulous is the comment said insufficient leadership (failure of leadership) has led to the roll out of vision zero and as further consequence trust and credibility against the institutions evapourates leading to even larger leadership failures.
Never have I seen it laid so start in a Council document where officials say slashing a budget will cost us 90 extra lives in deaths and serious injuries a year while failure in leadership has lead to trust and credibity issues with the community – and THAT has lead to further leadership failures.
We have known this for quite a while but to see it in an official Budget document is something else.
What the Governing Body of Auckland Council does to address is to be seen (if they do something at all).
Have your say
It is as critical as ever to have your say against the Emergency Budget (the Retrenchment Budget) by mid June. You can have your say HERE.
I have and I found the $78m by slashing road projects whiling charging out all Park and Rides in Auckland. It was not a difficult task to do either so I wonder what the Governing Body was thinking in approving the Proposed Budget that slashed $78m out of the Vision Zero Budget.
Just please if nothing else – submit against the Budget!