Helensville is ‘obscenely neglected’
Transport is a subject on the minds of many in the Helensville electorate with public transport difficult to access.
Candidates running for the seat have weighed in on what needs to be done to improve the situation.
Commuting from Kumeu to Onehunga each day, NZ First candidate Helen Peterson said she understood the ‘‘frustrations’’.
She said the electorate had been ‘‘obscenely neglected’’ for many years and more houses going in were only contributing to more cars on the road.
‘‘There is one lane in and one lane out of Kumeu and the rising population along with tourist numbers means the roads are often overflowing and/or at a standstill,’’ she said.
Peterson said her party was a ‘‘strong’’ supporter of getting rail to the electorate, more park and rides and cycleways to help reduce congestion.
ACT party candidate Alex Evans said both the major parties had made ‘‘big’’ promises in terms of public transport.
He said the trick would be building infrastructure that could allow a busway or light rail to Westgate to happen.
‘‘ACT’s policy to share half of the GST on construction consented by Auckland Council will help provide the funding,’’ he said.
Evans said the ‘‘isolated nature’’ of Helensville meant more petrol was used, so those living in the electorate paid more in fuel tax. He said introducing congestion charges offset by fuel taxes meant those who need to use their cars wouldn’t be taxed as much as those who had easier access to public transport.
Labour’s Kurt Taogaga agreed the way of improving transport in the electorate was to invest in the right type of infrastructure.
‘‘The success of the Northern Busway and the transformational effects of the City Rail Link, once opened, will prove that appropriate investment in public transport projects are our best hope to improve people’s daily commutes,’’ he said.
Taogaga said his party wanted to build a ‘‘balanced’’ network that offered transport choices to everyone in Auckland.
National’s Chris Penk and the Green’s Hayley Holt did not respond in time for this article.
However, Penk has previously said he supported getting rail out to Huapai, whereas Holt was more in support of light rail.
Labour’s candidate Kurt Taogaga says investing in infrastructure will help improve transport problems in Helensville.