Transport logjam

Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris

There’s a sense of powerlessness and frustration that builds as we all leave home ten minutes earlier and arrive back ten minutes later than this time last year.

Tauranga’s transport network has been called a mini-Auckland.

Roads in New Zealand are funded 50-50 between councils (funded by your rates) and government (funded by your petrol taxes).

The system relies on both councils and government agreeing and getting on with it. It’s worked well in the past, but during this 2018/19 financial year the wheels have fallen off.

Despite council working closely with government, they still haven’t approved their funding this late in the financial year!

NZTA is in chaos after a safety scandal and a board and senior management restructure, and the buck stops at Transport Minister Phil Twyford’s office.

There’s been a change of government and a change of focus away from roads. To keep government funding for the black stuff, TCC has a $100m cycle plan and greater investment in bus priority lanes – much to the annoyance of neighbouring residents.

Yet we still can’t get funding for our growing city’s roads, and the painful truth is rates cannot fund them alone!

The mayor and my councillor colleagues voted unanimously to put on hold millions worth of transport projects until NZTA gets their act together and confirms funding.

Otherwise we risk funding 100 per cent of this year’s $22m program via rates, when you’ve already paid for it through your petrol taxes! Next week, what Labour’s transport logjam means for growth during a housing crisis.


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