Labour: light rail, regional fuel tax

Today in Auckland Jacinda Ardern confirmed plans for a regional fuel tax, plus announcing policy for light rail from the Auckland CBD to the airport within a decade.

Summary:

  • Build a new Bus Rapid Transit line from Howick to the airport, starting with a bus service which will connect Puhinui train station to the airport in one year
  • Invest in more electric trains and build a third main trunk line urgently between Wiri and Papakura
  • Allow Auckland Council to collect a regional fuel tax to fund the acceleration of these investments, along with infrastructure bonds and targeted rates.
  • Scale back the East-West Link to a reasonable cost with better value for money.

Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport

A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.

“Let’s get Auckland moving by building a light rail network and accelerating investment in heavy rail and bus rapid transit. This is crucial to Auckland’s future growth.

“A world-class city in the 21st century needs a rail connection from its CBD to its airport. Auckland needs this now. Labour’s going to accelerate the solutions to Auckland’s transport problems.

“I believe Labour’s plan is a game-changer. It will reduce the $2 billion a year that congestion costs Auckland. It will realise Auckland’s potential to be a truly world class city.

Another game changer.

 It will reduce the $2 billion a year that congestion costs Auckland. It will realise Auckland’s potential to be a truly world class city.

“Labour will build light rail to Mt Roskill in four years, to the airport and West Auckland within a decade, followed by a line connecting the North Shore to the CBD.

“We’ll also build a Bus Rapid Transit service connecting the airport and East Auckland, and a third main trunk rail line to serve the commuter and freight rail traffic.

“We’ll free up funding by getting better value for money from the East-West Link, and give Auckland the ability to fund its share of the investments through a regional fuel tax, infrastructure bonds, and targeted rates.

“Investing in high quality modern public transport is the best way to unclog our roads. This will ensure Auckland can grow and meet the needs of all who live and work in this great city.

“It’s time to get on with it. It’s time to get Auckland moving. Let’s do this,” says Jacinda Ardern.

I hope she doesn’t ignore the rest of New Zealand.

Ardern is based in Auckland and is MP for Mt Albert. Her deputy Kelvin Davis is MP for Te Tai Tokerau, the northernmost Maori electorate, from Auckland north.

 

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35 Comments

  1. sorethumb

     /  August 6, 2017

    So we aren’t going to cut out overseas travel. What about CO2?

    Reply
  2. John Schmidt

     /  August 6, 2017

    I think its safe to say she is already ignoring the rest of NZ.
    Actually it maybe better if they keep their noses out of the regions and let them grow themelves using their own market lead solutions that is already happening right now.
    I dont need Labour to tell me what to do to improve my lot.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 6, 2017

      Be grateful that the rest of us are not being taxed more across the board.

      Higher taxes for all-that’s a vote-catcher !

      Reply
  3. alloytoo

     /  August 6, 2017

    I thought that National had already announced most of that, but without the additional taxes, indeed with tax cuts. How does Labour manage to speed so much more money for the same or lesser outcomes?

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 6, 2017

      They just try harder.

      I can’t believe that the tax hike on petrol will endear them to people.

      Reply
  4. Left wing activists have been disappointed for nine years, so were overdue for an outpouring of excitement and hope.

    Enthusiasm and momentum that National will have trouble combating.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 6, 2017

      I think Tim was suggesting that Labour could be falling into the trap of thinking a week of good times & free passes from the MSM equates to an election already won…

      Kirk & Labour were in a similar position in 1969 thinking they would sleep-walk to victory on the back of a solid but ‘steady as they go’ Holyoake govt going for a fourth term in office. The turn around in National’s fortunes came from Muldoon and his costing of all Labour’s policy promises + the left shooting themselves in the foot with the seaman strikes.

      The left’s spending is off the chart and plenty of time for them to shoot themselves in the foot.

      Reply
      • Greens have shot themselves in the foot and are on crutches, Labour has replaced their feet with younger ones and suddenly looks spritely, and National’s feet are solid but stuck in concrete.

        Plenty of time for any of them to shoot their feet.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 6, 2017

          The Greens/Labour are the same block – if the Greens are on crutches then the Labour party is also wounded by default.

          Reply
          • ACT is getting no traction, the Maori Party coukld find things more difficult now, as could Peter Dunne. National is ‘wounded’ by all of them.

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  August 6, 2017

              Anyone forming a govt with Winston will be ‘wounded’ for years to follow.

            • Quite possibly.

              His ambitions could easily be severely wounded if Labour’s resurgence is sustained.

            • PDB

               /  August 6, 2017

              Even if the Greens are down to 10% Labour has to pull up to high 30’s, 40% to rule with them without NZL First (slightly easier with the Maori party as well). Winston still holds the keys to the car.

  5. Of course Auckland business and an Auckland newspaper like it.

    Reply
  6. Would Julie Anne Genter be a better fit in Labour?

    She was at their transport launch (her specialist portfolio) rather than the Green Maori policy launch.

    Reply
  7. chrism56

     /  August 6, 2017

    The thing to wait and see is how Aucklanders will react to the 10c / litre on their fuel. I can’t imagine any will be too happy with that, no matter how much it is sugar coated.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 6, 2017

      Don’t worry – the ‘Jacinda effect’ means all people are immune to Labour taking money from their pockets.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 6, 2017

      It’s actually neither here nor there. ..the way fuel is discounted. ..these days.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  August 6, 2017

        You obviously don’t run a business that spends a lot of money on fuel in Auckland or get stuck in Auckland’s commuter traffic paying this tax that does nothing to fix Auckland’s traffic woes.

        Reply
  8. PDB

     /  August 6, 2017

    Stuff: “Actress, Green Party supporter and activist Robyn Malcolm got the job of welcoming Ardern to the stage on Sunday. She’s been friends with the Mt Albert MP for many years, and when Ardern got appointed to the leadership Malcolm emailed her immediately saying she “wanted to help”.

    “Malcolm is loyal to Greens co-leader Metiria Turei”

    “Malcolm says Turei could have done things differently but she doesn’t think any “solid Green supporters would be shaken” by what had happened, including her.”

    “The biggest cheers were reserved for Ardern on Sunday but Malcolm managed to get a couple in as well – none more so than when she tested a new title with the crowd – “The Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand”.

    And National are the arrogant, complacent ones?

    Reply
    • From that Stuff article:

      An hour before new Labour leader Jacinda Ardern was due at Auckland’s waterfront to announce the party’s plan for light rail from the city to the airport, the word from Labour officials was that 300 planned to be there but it would probably be less.

      By 1pm there were 500 people jammed around a make-shift stage waiting for Ardern to arrive. When word filtered through the crowd that she was approaching, dozens of Labour supporters began chanting her new slogan, “Let’s do this”.

      The Jacinda effect has never been more visible than the scenes in central Auckland on Sunday.

      Strangers shoved their babies at Ardern, crowds swarmed her – she had to politely ask fans to back away so she could address media – and just trying to get to a bar 100 metres away where supporters had gathered to have a drink with Ardern was an exercise in patience and a navigational nightmare.

      “I think this is people being hopeful about the possibility of what we can do this election.”

      She described the mobbing crowd as “uplifting”, and before any more questions could be asked about it she quipped, “now I might go have a beer if that’s alright?”

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95495277/hundreds-mob-new-labour-leader-jacinda-ardern-at-her-first-big-policy-reveal

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  August 6, 2017

        The bit about babies sort of gave the game away don’t you think? A carefully orchestrated Labour media release with help of a compliant MSM.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 6, 2017

          To add the event was heavily advertised well in advance on facebook etc asking people to go out there and also included many Green supporters hence the Green MP’s turning up and Robyn Malcolm doing introductions.

          Reply
      • A well planned coup, following on from a well executed whiteanting of Little by party activists and friends in places of influence in the media, and now a nicely planned follow up to the coup.

        How long can Labour keep things on the rails? When will someone stray off script?

        When did Helen pick up organisational reins again – given she and Cullen were on the phones getting Little the knife, its safe to assume they have been working on this strategy for a fair while.

        Makes you wonder who was really behind the Intern thing – it made Little look incompetent and not in control. May have shaken a few peoples faith in him just as the window for a caucus coup to tip him out of the leadership opened up….

        When will Jacindarella be subjected to some tough questions on what in her background prepares her for a national leadership role? Probably never – the media love the fairy tale princess angle.

        Kelvin has adopted the head kicker role already – Jacinda will do the soft stuff and get offended when asked tough questions. It was masterly how Labours media team got the “Can’t ask me that question” meme established…

        Reply
  9. chrism56

     /  August 6, 2017

    Read the comments on the Stuff article. I don’t think Labour has won many friends.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 6, 2017

      Read the polls. Comments on newspaper articles often attract a lotta bloody whingers!

      Reply
  10. PDB

     /  August 6, 2017

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 6, 2017

      Labour: “The rail link would start at Wynyard Quarter, where Ardern announced the plan, and run down Dominion Rd and beside the south-western motorway through Onehunga, across a new Manukau harbour bridge, and through Mangere south.”

      Williams is right (except light rail is yesterday’s solution) – that is pure madness, does nothing but add more congestion problems in areas already struggling for transport space, and is being totally lost by the MSM in their unending Ardern adulation.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  August 6, 2017

        English says light rail is a solution.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  August 6, 2017

          So what? I disagree. He also says it’s not a priority now the Waterview tunnel is up and running. I agree.

          I also seriously doubt that National would suggest running it down the nightmare called Dominion road either.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  August 6, 2017

            You disagree with Bill English! !!!!!!! …unbelievable.

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  August 6, 2017

              No one can be as perfect as you Blazer……..

          • Blazer

             /  August 6, 2017

            Always be sincere. ..even if you..don’t really mean. .it’

            Reply
  11. PDB

     /  August 6, 2017

    Labour: “The extra cost would be $2.1b after accounting for $1.2b in savings from scaling back the East-West link.”

    Bad move scaling back the much needed East-West link. Light rail to the airport is not a priority presently with the Waterview tunnel success.

    Reply
  12. Light rail down Dominion Road? Brilliant complete choke one of the main North South arterial routes with trains….

    If you want to get to the airport – Sky bus works well and if you know the streets well enough there are heaps of off the main drag ways to get to the south western and the airport without getting stuck..

    Reply

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