Sey­mour pro road charg­ing

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - MARY FITZGER­ALD

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.

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