Government to blame for Auckland rates rise

The National Government is letting down Auckland by delaying funding for critical rail and bus projects, the Green Party said today.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown today announced that ratepayers will face additional average transport levies of $99 for households and $159 for businesses.

“National’s refusal to back the smart transport projects Aucklanders need and want means the city is facing a higher increase in rates today,” said Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“Aucklanders are voting with their feet – trains and buses are full to bursting at peak time, yet the National Government will not step up and fund these urgently needed projects.

“There is no need for rate hikes, or tolls, if we prioritised the projects that would make the most difference, such as rail, buses, ferries and cycling.

“National is spending the vast majority of the transport budget on a few expensive motorways that will do nothing to reduce congestion.

“Holding up progress on the Auckland Central Rail Link and on public transport, by delaying funding and refusing to let Auckland use alternative funding, shows appalling leadership from the Government.

“We need investment now in the CRL and busway improvements to keep pace with demand,” said Ms Genter.