Break the impasse on Auckland Infrastructure with funding for focus

“Aucklanders cannot afford to keep losing years of infrastructure development to fights between Steven Joyce and Phil Goff,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. “The Government and the Council need to do a funding for focus deal where the Council gets Government money in return for getting out of non-core activities.”

“Aucklanders know they’ve been shortchanged on infrastructure, as they are frequently reminded by traffic congestion, housing shortages, and overloaded sewerage systems. The best time to start solving the problem was 20 years ago. Today will do. Another few years is not acceptable.

“At the same time, the Auckland Council is engaged in a befuddling range of activities that have nothing to do with its core business, these should be stopped as a condition of receiving Government funding.

“There is no good reason why the Auckland Council owns a film studio, shares in an airport, and a port company. It should not be setting social policy goals, or leading trade missions offshore, as these are central government functions. The Council needs to provide a clearly defined basket of essential infrastructure, instead of trying to be a country within a country.

“How would the funding be provided? In January the ACT Party launched, as part of its Housing Policy, the idea of sharing half the GST receipts on construction activity in a council’s territory with that council.

“Not only would the policy provide councils with the funds to build infrastructure, it would provide the incentive to consent more homes. It would also be a depoliticised mechanism with funding triggered by actual activity and need rather than politics,” says Mr Seymour.