Seymour pro road charging
Auckland is paying the most tax so the Government needs to invest more of it in the country’s biggest city, an MP says.
David Seymour has criticised Minister of Transport Simon Bridges for not supporting proposed traffic congestion charging in a Talk Auckland forum in Remuera on August 18.
The ACT leader and MP for Epsom also believes the Government should invest more in Auckland’s infrastructure, suggesting GST and tax revenues collected from Auckland construction should be invested back into the city.
Seymour called Transport Minister Simon Bridges ‘‘weak’’ for his recent recanting on potential congestion charging. Instead Auckland Council opted for rates rises to pay for transport projects such as the City Rail Link.
Transport and housing were the main themes of the first of two Somervell Presbyterian Church Talk Auckland sessions and the future funding of Auckland’s infrastructure was a key discussion point.
The expert panel included Seymour, economist Shamubeel Eaqub, Mission Bay-Kohimarama Residents Association chair Don Stock, and Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
Genter and Eaqub queried where funding for Auckland infrastructure is likely to come from and believe that central government has a role to play in supporting the city’s future growth.
There was general agreement, with the exception of Stock, that the Unitary Plan is a positive step forward albeit not perfect.
Genter believes that Auckland ‘‘has an incredible opportunity to be a better city, but that our transport and housing planning in the last 60 years have let us down’’.
However Stock believes an opportunity to move Auckland forward has been missed because ‘‘the only way to decrease the median house prices in Auckland is to build houses below the current house medium and the Unitary Plan does not support this’’.
The panelists look to having questions about Auckland infrastructure development and funding answered at the Talk Auckland Mayoral Debate event on August 28.