Goff bemoans $4b shortfall to cover city's needs

Auckland has a $4 billion funding shortfall needed for infrastructure, transport and services in the next decade, Mayor Phil Goff says.

At a Property Council breakfast last week, he told of the growth strains on the city and its desperate need for another $4b in the next 10 years.

Under the Auckland Transport Alignment Project, an estimated $24b dollars is needed for minimum infrastructure, transport, and services over the next 10 years, but there is a $4 billion-dollar shortfall in funding, he said.

"Auckland Council would need to come up with at least $200 million a year to meet the shortfall. I'm not going to ask ratepayers to shoulder that burden, it's not viable nor is it equitable," Goff said.

"We are looking at unprecedented population growth in Auckland and our infrastructure is not matching the pace of that growth. We have under invested in infrastructure for the past 30 years.

"We have an airport that attracts 17 million passengers a year, and is growing, but no mass transport from the airport to the CBD. We can't tolerate this situation."

The Mayor explained that Central Government and Local Government must share the cost of infrastructure investment at a pace that enables Auckland to absorb rapid population growth.

"Central Government has to enable us to broaden our revenue base," he said.

Lack of investment in vital infrastructure is holding back the city according to Goff.

This morning, he said congestion charges and better public transport were two key elements in addressing the city's transport woes.

He told Newshub's the AM Show, co-hosted by Duncan Garner on RadioLive and televised, that under the Auckland Transport Alignment Project a user-pays congestion charge was up to a decade away.

"We can't wait eight to 10 years; we've got congestion now" said Goff on the show.

"If you put a charge on peak hour people amend their behaviour."

Bemoaning his more than two hour journey home on a recent Friday averaging just 12.5 km/h along the length of the southern motorway, Goff said it was important to make headway soon but it was five or six years away at the earliest.

As well as congestion charging, it was important to have a public transport system that met the needs of commuters.

He advocated investing in more public transport including light rail.

"We can't afford to let this gridlock get worse," said Goff.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 29 Mar 2017 04:45:59 Processing Time: 815ms