The new National-led Government doesn't appear to realise how hard it is going to have to work to convince Auckland's political leaders that its commitment to making the region "world-class" is more than just words.

Nowhere is the suspicion greater than in the area of transport, where already, major projects such as the Waterview connection, integrated ticketing and rail electrification have been put on hold by the new administration.

The frustration boiled over at Friday's meeting of the Regional Sustainable Development Forum where a cross-section of regional politicians recorded "deep frustration over the Government decision to withdraw the regional fuel tax".

They further called on the Government "as a matter of urgency" to work with the region to put in place a long-term funding framework to ensure the proposed improvement to public transport be delivered "in its entirety and on time".

The anger expressed in the resolutions erupts out of Auckland's long memory of transport programmes being short-changed by a passing parade of central Government politicians.

That Aucklanders were willing to pay an extra regional fuel tax on top of the fuel tax the rest of the country paid was a sign of how resigned we've become to being short-changed, and how we were prepared to do just about anything to ensure we finally got the transport services we needed.

The new Government canned this extra tax, and I praised them for doing so. But they're now dragging the chain in explaining how they propose to come up with alternative funding for the affected projects.

The fear is they'll just be abandoned, or delayed, or trimmed as has happened so often in the past. It's not that Auckland wants special treatment. It just wants an equitable share of the budgetary cake.

In the past I have given examples of how Auckland was for years ripped off by the state road builder Transit New Zealand when it came to the distribution of road-user levies.

Now the Green Party Transport Research Unit has produced a much more comprehensive analysis. It ploughed through years of Cabinet and Treasury documents to come up with the accompanying chart.

Starting with the year ending June 1990, the analysts calculated that for the next 15 years, Aucklanders shovelled $7022 million into central Government coffers from fuel taxes, road user charges and motor vehicles fees but got back only $3221.94 million - less than half - in transport-related expenditure.

This revenue figure is based on the conservative estimate that only 30 per cent of fuel excise etc is collected in Auckland. Recent Cabinet papers discussing the possible revenue from the regional fuel tax say the true figure could range between 30 per cent and 37.5 per cent, so the funding gap could in fact be much higher.

It's only in the last three years, when the Labour Government's efforts to reverse the imbalance finally started to show dividends, that expenditure on Auckland transport projects has been in excess of income collected. Between 2006 and 2008, $1658 million was collected, compared with expenditure of $2414.2 million. But before the rest of the country starts screaming, this still represents a shortfall to Auckland taxpayers between 1990 and 2008 of $3043.86 million.

And that's without starting to calculate interest.

Imagine the wonderful rapid rail system, complete with spur lines to the airport, Aucklanders could be enjoying now if that money had already been spent here. We wouldn't now find ourselves back grovelling, hand to forelock, before yet another Transport Minister who, in turn, will then grovel to his superior, the Minister of Finance, for the $1 billion plus required to electrify the system. That's without the circus of persuading someone to buy new train sets.

Over the last couple of years, the progress was there for all to see. Double tracking of the rail lines was under way, Spaghetti Junction was expanded, the Northern Connection was completed. Hope was in the air. But enter the new broom and what do we see, delays wherever we look. If the new regime feels the negativity is all a bit unfair, they only have to look at the accompanying chart to see the reason.