The richest local board in Auckland is fuming at a decision by transport officials to make it pay $2 million for an access-way to a $43m shared path.

The Glen Innes to Tamaki 7km route will connect the eastern suburbs to the city centre. The first section will open this year and it will be completed by 2018.

But Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson says the link from Kohimarama through Kepa Bush to the Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai cycleway is vital to the project so should be paid for by the Government.

"You shouldn't start a project unless you have the money," she said.


The Orakei local board has been asked to contribute $2m to the project through its Locally Driven Initiatives and Auckland Transport Capital Funds.

But Simpson said she didn't think it was fair her local board's funds should be tied up for the next four years providing an "essential part" of the project.

Because of the area's topography, land ownership patterns and the barrier created by the rail corridor, building local links to the path has proven difficult. Simpson said the benefits for the project could only be unlocked by improving access from local communities, but that should not be funded from local boards' modest transport capital investment funds.

However, mayoral candidate Phil Goff, who was at the local board's most recent meeting, said local communities were expected to contribute something to show their commitment. "With resources always limited our communities often have to stump up with the local contribution towards the cost."

Auckland Transport is building a number of local connections throughout the path and were working with Maungakiekie-Tamaki and Orakei Local Boards, a spokesman said. Further options would be investigated in the next three-year programme from 2018 but the first section from Glen Innes to St Johns Rd will open this year.