Another member of Auckland Transport’s board has resigned, citing differences with the council’s new leadership.
Dr Jim Mather today said it had become clear his approach to governance “is not well aligned with some of the new leadership of Auckland Council.”
“I have therefore decided to conclude my four-year tenure as a director on the board of Auckland Transport with immediate effect,” he said in a statement.
“I acknowledge my fellow board directors, management and kaimahi who work tirelessly to deliver a more equitable public transport system that serves all of our communities of Tāmaki Makaurau. I also extend best wishes to the new council in fulfilling their vision for Auckland – much of which I personally agree with.”
Mather, who has positions as chief executive officer of the Pacific Business Trust, Māori Television and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, said he did not intend to make any further comment about his resignation.
Just a day after being elected Auckland mayor last month, Wayne Brown called on the board of Auckland Transport (AT) to resign.
Brown was scathing of AT during his mayoralty campaign and said there is no council agency which is so important to Aucklanders about which they are angrier.
He then called on the nine-member board to walk away.
“I think the board of directors should heed the message from the election and offer to resign,” he said in writing.
The chair of AT’s board Adrienne Young-Cooper resigned immediately.
“It is clear that the mayor designate wants a clear runway,” Young-Cooper said in a statement. “I willingly exit the role.”
Fellow AT board member Tommy Parker also resigned earlier this month. He is the chief executive of the Auckland Light Rail project.
Brown has told AT he wants to see a “complete change in approach”.
In a written directive to acting AT chairman Wayne Donnelly last month, Brown said: “You appear to have been focused on changing how Aucklanders live, using transport policy and services as a tool.
“Instead, AT must seek to deeply understand how Aucklanders actually live now, how they want to live in the future, and deliver transport services that support those aspirations.”
Brown has routinely voiced his displeasure about Auckland’s transport dilemma.
He has been unimpressed with what he calls KiwiRail’s “badly planned” line maintenance project.
The $330 million upgrades to the entire Auckland rail network will cause multiple lines and stations to temporarily close. The network rebuild will pave the way for more commuter trains when the CRL opens, some time from 2025.
Brown said Aucklanders should not accept years of rail disruptions and called on AT, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, the Ministry of Transport, KiwiRail and the Transport and Immigration Minister to move to an “emergency footing” to maintain services.
Statistics reported by the Herald earlier this month also revealed, to that date, almost 270,000 scheduled bus trips have been cancelled already in 2022.
The cancellations made up 8.6 per cent of the total scheduled bus services, just over three million, in the first nine months of the year.
It was a large increase compared to previous years, which saw 1.3 per cent of trips cancelled in 2019, 0.7 per cent in 2020 and 0.6 per cent in 2021, all over a 12-month period.