The Council is currently consulting on the Long Term Plan (LTP) which is the city’s 10 year budget. A key discussion of this LTP is whether we should implement motorway tolling or increase Rates/Fuel taxes to pay all of the transport projects on the council’s plans – unless we want a scaled back and ineffectual transport system. There are three weeks left to submit on the plan and in the coming week or so we will be covering this topic a lot more. In the meantime the council say they have now had over 5,000 submissions with some interesting results.

In addition they’ve provided some generalised feedback on what the submissions (as of 19 Feb) have said and there are some fascinating results. First up some demographic info and it appears submitters are far more likely to be older European males.

2015 LTP Early Demographics

Further a break down by the local board areas shows the boards with the most submissions being Hibiscus and Bays, Albert-Eden, Howick and Howick while many of the South Auckland boards have the lowest submission levels. This combined with the demographic info suggest that perhaps the council need to be putting more effort into getting feedback from a wider cross section of our city – this is similar to the issues Peter recently expressed when he asked Who’s having the conversation about cities.

Perhaps unsurprisingly just over half of those who answered (52%) disagreed with the proposed level of rates rises of 3.5% and of those who answered what they’d change most (79%) said they’d like to see rates decreased. Council have also broken the results down by areas that people said they’d like to see changes in with only Transport only one of a few areas where more people said spend more than spend less.

2015 LTP Early Changes in Investment

Next the area most relevant to what we’re following and the issue of transport and how we pay for it. The council say that 55% of people support the full kitchen sink approach that is the Auckland Plan. When it comes to how we should fund that just over 50% support, partially support motorway tolls. This is perhaps a little surprising and I wonder how many of the people choosing that option do so because they think they can avoid it through using local roads, travelling at different times or using other modes.

2015 LTP Early network and funding preferences

The council have also put this video together about it

When asked what areas of transport the focus should be the result is overwhelmingly in favour of public transport and cycling investment – note: the herald ran a version of this graph the other day but got the labels around the wrong way. To me this result isn’t surprising and it is similar to many of the survey’s we’ve seen in the past. Frankly it’s insane that we still have some local politicians who are actively opposing these kinds of investments. It would be fascinating to see what kind of transport system we would have if funding priorities were based on results.

2015 LTP Early Changes in transport Investment

The next two question looks at whether the council should take on a more active role in development by merging Waterfront Auckland and Auckland Council Properties Limited – something I think would be good providing the DNA from Waterfront Auckland was at the core of the new organisation rather than ACPL who have appeared silent over the last 4-5 years. It seems most people agree that it is a good idea but it’s not quite a majority.

2015 LTP Early Development Auckland

The Uniform Annual General Charge UAGC is a fixed charge that every household pays regardless of property value. The lower the UAGC the more impact property prices have on rates and the higher the UAGC the less that property prices affect rates. Councillors on the right of the political spectrum have long argued for the UAGC to be higher so as to lessen the rates burden on their areas (which are often wealthier). From memory they were very happy to finally get the question about what the rate should be on the feedback form however they may not be so happy with the result showing almost 50% want it left as it is and many want it lower

2015 LTP Early UAGC

The last graph is based on whether the council should gradually reduce business property rates from 32.8% of all rates to 25.6% of all rates. The change seems widely unsupported at this stage.

2015 LTP Early Business Rates

It will be interesting to see if these kinds of results carry on through for the rest of the consultation.

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28 comments

  1. It’s disappointing, but unsurprising that a bunch of old, white men are providing their thoughts on the future of Auckland. Having said that, they seem to be supporting more PT and active modes which is great. All the poor, brown people out west and south have limited access to the internet and are simply not well informed, so it is unsurprising to get low feedback from those areas. Culturally, Polynesians, Maori (and many migrants) tend to have a hierarchical social structure where they don’t speak up, don’t question authority and just go with the flow. It takes a lot to get make them vocal about anything.

    1. Such as the Pasifika, and the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board Have Your Say Sessions in which the Pacific (and Maori) people were VERY vocal in making their thoughts known.

      I was the sole white person there at the Otara-Papatoetoe LB session last night (didnt bother me one bit) and their views were consistent:
      Low UAGC
      Better east west transport links especially from Otara to Wiri and the Airport
      Upgrade of Otara Town Centre
      And socio-economics was a big concern as well

    2. If you think Maori go with the flow, don’t speak up, and don’t question authority, then you’ve clearly never been to a hui. I think it’s the forum that makes the difference. Physical meetings are closer to the Maori way of doing things rather than through sending in a feedback form. This is why the Council are getting feedback through different methods. Yes, cultural differences matter, but it’s about the way you engage with communities rather than just assuming some groups will do as they are told. However, you’re right that it is the well off and retired that unfortunately have the most amount of time and inclination to get involved and be heard.

  2. It’s a great thing Auckland Transport Board Strategic Fit already is Rapid Transit and Active Modes. Now mother ship!!!!!!!

  3. Given that you there is not a purely online form for giving feedback (I know you can email a scanned version which is what I did) this may be a contributing factor to the lack of a balanced demographic.

    There is also the way in general that the council asks for feedback. I know a lot Aucklanders who would have no idea that there is a Long Term Plan let alone that the council is requesting feedback. Part of me wonders if this is a lack of “advertising” (For lack of a better word) or weather a lot of people don’t think their local or central government representatives are going to listen. An interesting exercise would be to have central government perform a similar feedback process no that would be interesting (I know polls kind of do this but they often seem to have the questions skewed to get a certain result)

    In any case my submission is in and it looks like a lot of others mostly agree (so far) so thats heartening

      1. Submissions made by Twitter and on the Council Facebook page also count, so I don’t think you can accuse the Council of putting up barriers to making submissions. The only real barriers are awareness and apathy.

        1. Fair call about the ways in which submissions can be accepted so it looks like the council have that covered.

          I agree that apathy is a big factor. A lot of which can in my opinion be attributed to the way that local representatives only seem to back points of view that suit them. Central government have a lot to answer for this as well. Its not the only factor but talking with people I know it is a big one.

          As for awareness this is something that the council can help address. At least they do appear to be trying and not just sticking up a note in the basement of a building somewhere and thinking thats enough.

  4. With 29% of respondents over 65, this is a taste of the city’s future population shape. Thank goodness GoldCard users support PT. And may have the flexibility of lifestyle to avoid motorway charges. They don’t seem keen on investing in community however.

    Small point – why on earth are Council publishing ‘Kiwi’ as an ethnicity? It sounds remarkably similar to ‘New Zealander’ in the Census which is now dumped in with ‘Other’ even though it’s overwhelmingly associated with old white men.

    1. The options on both the online and printed form are : European, Pacific, Asian, Māori, African/Middle Eastern/Latin American, Other (please specify)

      So I assume people are choosing Other and writing in Kiwi?

    2. It is natural that over 65 support PT, because they get it free. Tolls on motorway would cost them money as would a rise in petrol tax.

  5. Anyone else think a Kiwi category in the ethnicity section is a bit puzzling? Like the census’ New Zealander option. Anyway, good to see support for increased transport spending.

    1. Nope.

      That says “bugger off, I’m an NZ citizen and I don’t care about the rest”
      I for instance am a 6th generation NZ citizen.
      I’d answer NZ European if that was an option, and NZ/Kiwi otherwise.

      BTW, how long DOES my family have to live here to count as native?
      That’s distinct from indigenous of course, we don’t have an indigenous people in NZ.

      1. “we don’t have an indigenous people in NZ”

        Lol. Under that logic, the only indigenous people ANYWHERE in the world live in Central Africa. Everyone else doesn’t count, cause “they moved there”.

        Plus, we are actually one of the few recently established countries worldwide that actually includes the concept of an indigenous population in its founding document. You may not think that’s appropriate, but its ridiculous of you to deny the fact.

        1. Isn’t that the point Max?

          These definitions aren’t facts at all and are cultural constructs we’ve spent thousands of years perfecting. One planet, one species, boundless stupidity.

        2. But in most countries where they talk about “indigenous people” they mean people that have been there for tens of thousands of years, e.g. Native Americans, Australian Aborigines etc. NZ’s supposed indigenous people only arrived a few hundred years before Europeans. The wonderful thing about NZ, that should be celebrated, and carry a strong environmental message, is that we’re all recent colonists.

      2. I’m not disagreeing with your right to self-identify. I just think it’s unhelpful for the Council to confuse ethnic terms with terms referring to nationality or cultural identity, as it seems they specifically want ethnic data. It seems like a useless question that will hinder rather than help any useful data they hope to obtain from it.

  6. “they think they can avoid it”

    Um, isn’t that part of the point?

    I couldn’t see much other reason for having the toll fixed from the start at (for me ~$800/year)
    But having the rates + fuel levy on a gradually increasing scale that wold take 10 years to get to the (again for me) ~$800/year

    That should encourage mode shift or routing shift.
    However, routing shift really only works when some people have better information about ACTUAL traffic conditions than others.
    It quickly evens out when most people have the same information (e.g. real time travel times on your GPS)

    Having said that, I wouldn’t be shifting mode to PT because with 2 adults and 2 kids to move, the cost shift is not worth it, and adding an extra 2 hours a day of travel with 2 kids < 5 is insane, and in my opinion constitutes cruel and unusual punishment on other travellers.

  7. So “governance and support” should get less investment, yet these are presumably the same people who complain loudest when “Council doesn’t engage!” or “lets developers get away with murder” etc, etc…

    Sometimes, working for any sort of government is heroic. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  8. I’m not sure I see the purpose of this poll. “Which of the following funding options that we can’t legally implement would you like us to implement?”.
    Does anyone really see the government allowing Auckland Transport to put tolls on NZTA motorways? I’m not sure even a Labour government would support this option as it will probably hurt poor people the most.
    Surely they could have come up with some more realistic options (e.g. regional fuel tax only, congestion charges, parking tax, etc).

    1. Laws can change.

      The conversation is worth having, especially given that council is already consulting on other aspects of the plan. Low marginal costs etc.

    2. The purpose is to justify what ever position the Council chooses to go with. I went to an PAUP meeting where the overwhelming majority opposed the Council view but the staff claimed it was correct because so many people submitted on the Auckland Plan. She didnt know how many actually supported the Auckland Plan. A show of hands in the room showed that all of us present who had submitted opposed the Auckland Plan. So regardless of what you say they will claim you support their view. What a fantastic waste of money.

    3. Should have been more debate and everyone polling on various options. I just don’t know why not property rates on carparks. Cars are not the strategic fit anymore and rates could be reviewed monthly or even coated differently in different areas. Council has full control. Why rely on governments that sway all over the place and this ones strategic fit is cars not even projects with the highest benefit cost?

      1. Meanwhile we have 80 year old natives that were on the table last Friday for the chop to make room.for cars only, ships bringing cars in and now Ports of Auckland want to fill in the harbour to make more space since about 90% of their space is for cars. Newsflash cars don’t run the planet anymore people do!!!! Change focus guys our resource allocation is down the toilet and the transport industry has the wrong focus. Soon everyone is going to be thinking what the hell and monstrous waste of resources, money effort and damage to environment.

      2. Transport Focus Polling. Cycle No1, Then Bus, Then Rail, then Public Transport General, Then Light Rail, Then Roading. National quite like their polls, their roading lobbiests, sponsors must start to lose the love soon!!!! What goes first buddies or whole ship? Probably a good time for Bike Barn and Avanti to have coffee with PM!!!

  9. Just filled out the submittions form, question 2b is an absolute shocker as there were only two choices – rates and fuel tax option or the motorway tolls options. I support a combination of the two I.e 3.0% rate rises, 6c fuel tax and a city center congestion charge, rather than motorway tolls

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