This is a guest post from the Office of the Mayor of Auckland.
Consultation on Auckland Council’s proposed Annual Budget for 2022/23 opened on 28 February and runs until 28 March.
The centrepiece of the budget is a proposal for a Climate Action Package that, with co-funding from the government, would allocate more than $1 billion over the next 10 years for a range of initiatives to reduce emissions and the impact of climate change. These initiatives would be funded by a proposed Climate Action Targeted Rate (CATR) of around $1.12 per week for the median-value residential property.
This proposal follows Auckland Council’s unanimous declaration of a climate emergency in 2019 and adoption of Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan in 2020. While progress on climate action has been made, we are not yet on track to meet our emissions reduction targets. The CATR will lay the foundation for significant changes that we need to avert a climate disaster. As the United Nations warned in its latest International Panel on Climate Change report, climate change is a “threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet” and urgent action that cannot be delayed is needed to stop its effects becoming catastrophic.
Public transport improvements
If supported by councillors later this year, the CATR would see more than $600 million invested in 10 new frequent bus routes and 69 improved bus routes, as well as 79 additional electric or hydrogen buses. This will result in improved bus services for more than 1 million Aucklanders and bring 170,000 more people within 500m of a frequent bus route (see below for more details).
A total of $122 million will be spent to replace Auckland’s aging diesel ferries with low-emissions vessels, important as ferries currently contribute 21 per cent of total public transport emissions.
Cycling and walking
Cycling and walking would benefit from a $228 million investment in new infrastructure and improvements or extensions to existing routes, making Auckland’s streets safer for kids to walk or cycle to school. The cycling investment will be focused on completing key links in the separated cycling network, including connections to schools and jobs in the North Shore, Manurewa, Onehunga, Hobsonville and New Lynn.
The cycling investment would deliver at least 18km of new separated cycleways, plus a full local area network in New Lynn. The local area network will include safe local cycling connections intended to transform streets to be more attractive for cycling. The exact interventions for the local area network will include measures such as traffic calming to reduce speeds and volumes of traffic, separated cycle facilities, intersection upgrades and supporting measures to support uptake of cycling.
The projects in this package will link up currently disconnected parts of the cycling network. This will deliver better value for money by attracting a high number of users to support the emissions reduction and climate change goals of the CATR.
The walking investment will for the first time ensure a dedicated budget is available to improve the experience of people walking around our suburbs and town centres. The focus of this investment programme is on walking for transport for short journeys (less than 2km). It aims to improve safety, access, and support the transition to a low-emissions and climate-resilient Auckland. The funding would allow more pedestrian crossings, improved street lighting, a higher standard of footpath maintenance and improved access for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
To green the city and reduce the impact of high temperatures, around 15,000 large native trees (between 1m and 1.5m tall) will be planted on streets and in parks, playgrounds and road reserves. Thousands more trees and plants will be planted in other areas such as bush remnants. Our planting programme will focus on low-income areas that currently have lower tree canopy coverage and limited protection against the heat. Focus areas for tree planting include Māngere-Ōtāhuhu (8 per cent coverage), Ōtara-Papatoetoe (10 per cent) and Maungakiekie-Tāmaki (12 per cent).
Bus improvements—detailed information
The principles for allocating funding in the Climate Action Package are simple. Initiatives must reduce emissions, have wide regional benefit, address inequality, and start fast. As a result, improving and extending bus services in south and west Auckland—which currently have significantly lower levels of access to public transport—are key priorities. However, all parts of Auckland receive improved services.
The maps in this section include a large amount of information, which is summarised in the key below.
In the south the key improvements are:
- Brand new frequent route 37, linking Highbrook, Ōtara (Preston Rd), Puhinui Interchange (connects with trains and Airport Link), Roscommon Rd, Clendon & Manurewa
- New frequent route 39 linking Ōtara North, Papatoetoe East, Manukau, SuperClinic, Clendon & Manurewa (current 361)
- Extension of services to Ihumatao, also serving Airport employment areas which don’t currently have bus services
- Extra services on Route’s 31, 33 & other local routes in Ōtāhuhu, Manurewa and Māngere.
- New bus services to the NZUP funded Drury, Drury West & Paerata railway stations.
- New routes linking Clark’s Beach to Papakura & Drury South to Drury.
In west Auckland the key improvements proposed are:
- A new frequent route 15 linking New Lynn & Henderson via Glen Eden (current 154)
- A new frequent route 17 linking New Lynn, Titirangi & Glen Eden (current 170)
- Service improvements to local routes in Glen Eden, Ranui, Sunnyvale & South Lynn
- Further improvements to routes planned to serve the North West bus improvements including the WX1 (Westgate to City express via Lincoln & Te Atatu stops) & Route 12 (Henderson to Constellation) & Route 13 (Henderson to Te Atatu Peninsula)
In the East all routes gain some level of improvement, with every route upgraded to at least connector level which means they operate every 30 minutes from the early morning until the late evening, 7 days per week.
On the North Shore, the key improvements are as follows:
- Frequent service on the NX1 will be extended as far as Hibiscus Coast station
- Improved services for 2 frequent routes & 9 other routes.
- The maps also show already planned improvements including upgrading the 814 between Devonport & Akoranga & the 120 between Henderson & Constellation station, new services supporting the new Rosedale station & more services on routes around Rodney serving Warkworth and surrounding areas.
On the central Isthmus the key improvements are:
- A new frequent route 67 linking New Lynn & Onehunga via Mount Roskill (current 670)
- A new frequent route 74 linking Onehunga, Sylvia Park & Panmure & Glen Innes (current 743)
- A new frequent route 76 linking Glen Innes, Kepa Road, Orakei & Wynyard Quarter (current 762)
- Improvements to off-peak on key corridors to city centre such as 22 New North Rd, 24 Sandringham Rd, 25 Dominion Rd, 27 Mt Eden Rd, 30 Manukau Rd & 75 Remuera Rd
If you want to see the full detail or zoom in on your area, check out the full network map online here.
Once public submissions close, councillors will review feedback from members of the public, interest groups and others before debating the proposed budget in workshops and meetings later this year to decide whether to support the budget and the Climate Action Package at a meeting in June.
Public feedback will be important in determining if the CATR goes ahead. There will be organised efforts to defeat the rate by those who think that reducing the future catastrophic effects of climate change is less important than ratepayers saving an average of $1.12 a week (for the median-value property worth more than $1 million).
That’s why it’s important that we hear a range of views from Aucklanders and from Greater Auckland readers on the importance of climate change action.
The CATR is a necessary step towards further action, not a silver-bullet solution. Future councils will need to build on the initiatives in the CATR. However, we need to take this action now. Every day we delay, the worse the climate crisis will become and the costlier and more difficult it will be to resolve.
Visit akhaveyoursay.nz/budget to read the full proposal and have your say.
We at OraTaiao:NZ Climate and Health Council have a handy submission guide available here: https://www.orataiao.org.nz/show_your_support_for_a_climate_friendly_auckland
Successful adoption and implementation of the CATR under the aims outlined should give a model for other councils as well…but as alluded to, it’s not enough on its own
Wonderful. Thanks, Dermot! I hadn’t seen that one. I will share.
“The cycling investment would deliver at least 18km of new separated cycleways,”
18km? That’s pathetic. Where’s the big vision?
“Seville then built an 80km network of segregated bicycle lanes in just 18 months, mostly by repurposing 5,000 on-street parking spaces.”
And for those who say it’s too expensive
“In Seville, the whole 80km network of segregated cycle lanes serving 70,000 trips each day cost €32 million”
So about 1/4 of what the CATR will put into cycling/walking in Auckland
1% of NZs population got ebikes last year, 18km of bike infrastructure at 8 million per km is beyond pathetic.
Re allocate free on street parking starting with the arterials, paint lanes, bolt blocks to keep people safer. Instead of 18 km we can have meaningful bike infrastructure across half the city. You can always build the rolls royce bike infrastructure later.
100%! In the absence of cycle lanes – the other side of the coin should be people need to pay to occupy that space.
I suspect in much of suburban Auckland the families 2nd/3rd/4th car is relegated to the onstreet because there isnt enough space on the driveway/garage. Why the f#ck should I pay for that by not being able to cycle safely around my suburb. Honestly it is crazy that a handful of cars that sit idle 99% of the time stop the avbility for people to move safetly around their neighbourhood. Leaving climate to the side Imagine the economic effect of all those parents not spending half an hour a day ferrying the kids too and from school. That would be a material impact on productivity. Such a no-brainer! Even Dave Seymour and Chris Luxon must be able to appreciate that.
Free on street car parking as the status quo is ridiculous. It’s a subsidy to car use that makes the entire transport system more dangerous and less effective.
This policy while mostly good, will need to suffer around the central guiding policy of NZ transport planning, “no car parks left behind”.
Came in to say exactly this. It’s beyond pathetic; it’s actively dangerous and in total denial about the upcoming effects of climate change.
Cyclists die because parking is more important than tactical rollouts of safe bike routes. WTAF.
At what point do we need to get the forklifts out and start taking back the kerbside lane? There was a guy in Onehunga that removed tactical interventions with a forklift and never got charged, ergo we shouldn’t get charged for putting it back.
It’s still important to show support for these ones, though. And keep the pressure on for more.
Yes more please Mayor!
One point I included in my submission was that all elements of council ( and CCOs) work should be considered through a Climate/Emissions Reduction lens. So whilst this plan has some good aspects we still have council events that highlight good parking available but no mention of PT/ Walking and Cycling etc. We have ” destination parks” built and advertised to draw in people from across the city rather than plentiful good local park improvements ( kids are happy with the box the gift came in – parents want the flash showy stuff). Council should review all KPIs and adjust any that go against their stated Climate Action goals.
Obviously a lot of thought and work has gone into the new and improved bus routes. The 37 makes a lot of sense and it utilises the new bus lanes on Puhinui Road. I am not so sure about the loop at Paerata though shouldn’t it run through to Pukekohe. Still I imagine it’s some way off because it can’t make any sense until the station is built. If this is signed off by the council does anyone know when it will be implemented other than its a 10 year project. I suppose it might be when the ducks line up.
Station shouldn’t be too long coming to Paerata. Too far to Pukekohe centre for the same bus to support that – there should be a good 394 link in addition to the 37 loop.
Or two buses supporting both the loop and the college. The train station has got to be two years away.
It would be appropriate now to restrict or ban all helicopter based sightseeing, heli fishing, heli lunches, heli weddings, heli transfers to wineries or destinations in the Auckland district. These wasteful activities are completely out of touch with climate action goals. Why is this allowed in this time of a climate emergency? A nation wide plan to restrict or phase out helicopter tourism in New Zealand would show that we are serious about climate action. If anyone knows a more inappropriate tourism activity than helicopter sightseeing over our shrinking Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers, please let us know on this forum.
These activities are also a health and safety issue due to the continual noise nuisance. We need to have action on this.
Agree Stephen, I also think it doesnt do much for the tourism industry itself. We were in Franz J last year, the whole emphasis seemed to be around turn up, jump on to a heli for 15 mins and then get out of town to next destination. Most of the accommodation providers seemed to be struggling – about 3 rooms were occupied in the YHA we stayed at yet the town was very busy- all queuing for their flights- maybe encourage people to stay and do things at a walking pace rather than chopper flights.
Commuter helicopters are the absolute worst. Tourism I can kind of understand as it’s a ‘once in a lifetime’ thing.
If you’re the kind of person who commutes via helicopter from Coatesville to Cox’s Bay, then you should be take a good look at yourself with respect to a) climate, b) your neighbours and c) those who live under your flight path.
I completely agree, Stephen. Any chance you’d set up a campaign?
I agree and note that the Council Planning Committee are meeting in just ten days time to hear again from the planning team why it is that they can’t do this. This was the previous bureaucratic response:
Link to Planning Committee agenda, including planning team report:
Relevant sections: 4.1, 6.3, 6.4, 14 (including appendices A to E).
This meeting will be held remotely at 10am, 31 March, and can be viewed on the Auckland Council website: https://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/
May as well just use the targetted rates to plant massive forests, otherwise money just gets wasted on consultations, working groups, law suits with NIMBYs, no change and missed targets.
“That’s why it’s important that we hear a range of views from Aucklanders and from Greater Auckland readers on the importance of climate change action.”
Actually you are calling this climate emergency, why not do it now?
The level of consultation and engagement undertaken for Te Taruke a Tawhiri was significant. Council knows what the public want, and that is, overwhelmingly, climate action. Further, they have legal responsibilities under the LGA to provide for future generations, which requires taking climate action.
Legislation requires Council to consult – but not on *whether* responsible action is taken. That’s simply expected.
“The cycling investment would deliver at least 18km of new separated cycleways, plus a full local area network in New Lynn.”
Are they going to implement this local network that already been consulted upon?
So this is a ‘climate response plan’ but it’s a fraction of what ATAP 2018 was promising us pre-Climate Emergency and pre-Glasgow. Getting even less and dressing it up as ‘climate action’ is risible.
So I think maybe Aucklanders should be asking “And where’s the rest of it?” because otherwise ATAP isn’t really worth the paper it’s printed on and we are now past the point where major ATAP Decade One priority targets have zero chance of being built by 2028, so where is that money being redeployed to and what are we getting instead?
Excited for the West bus improvements.
Note 17 replaces 172 not 170. 170 will still be needed for Titirangi south.
15 is a new, more direct route as opposed to replacing 154. This has been sorely needed for some time.
There also seems to be a new route that’s more direct for the North of Te Atatu Peninsula which joins up with the old 134 route in the South. Hopefully they add some yellow lines around that loop or it may be a tight squeeze with parked cars.
This is all great and should be supported.
BUT only getting 18km of cycleways (plus whatever is planned for New Lynn) for $200m+ is pathetic. Are these gold plated???
A lot of the time cycleways include streetscape improvements but these all get lumped into the cycling budget.
Having signed on to attend Auckland Council’s zoom event billed as a discussion on the proposed targeted rate for climate response I found the usual “keep the public at arms length” approach. Chat was disabled, so was the counter showing how many people were attending. All you could see was pākehā men expounding on various elements of the proposal. This is not consultation, it’s not even a discussion. Its just Council talking down to the ratepayers. I left in disgust.
looking at the bus maps, its a big shame there is no super sensible transfer point from the inner east to the eastern line on St Johns road. Would be rather hard to fix too.
So my response to the Mayor’s Office is to suggest you use some of the money from the new tax to replace the diesel boats with electric ferries. And bring Waiheke and Devonport into the PTOM, to resolve the glaring social equity issue, at the same time as cutting what are currently very high emissions (from the diesel ferries). I’d surely support that.
I assme you’re also for the Devonport Ferry falling into the Rapid Transit model, thus allowing intensifiction of up to 6 floors? Then it will truly resolve the social equity issue 🙂
Sorry, my reply to your reply has ended up lower down the page…
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Hey Joe. I don’t really have a view on Devonport building intensification. I just mentioned it because only Waiheke and Devonport ferries were excluded from the Public Transport Operating Model. The result is that unlike all other public transport, they receive no subsidies (in fact, they are taxed on top of the fares). I live on Waiheke where there is significant poverty and homelessness (as well as the great wealth that is more often discussed). It costs a fortune for local families to travel to the doctor, sports, etc. The forthcoming 50% public transport fare reductions the government is bringing in in response to the economic crisis? We won’t see those either.
The maps showing areas that are within 500 m of a high frequency bus route are a bit misleading considering you can’t get on to a bus at the nearest point of that route to where you are. For example, I can see the northern busway from my house, but I’m a long way from anywhere where it stops. For those who are using the northern busway, that’s part of the point, it would be a lot slower if it was stopping everywhere. If I had good feeder services to get to one of its stops, I would probably be less fussed. But I don’t, and so being shown in the catchment of that high frequency route is slightly angering.
“These initiatives would be funded by a proposed Climate Action Targeted Rate (CATR) of around $1.12 per week for the median-value residential property.”
Ratepayers don’t cause transport related climate change, road users do, and more specifically vehicle drivers who are heavily subsidised and cross-subsidised, and who should be shouldering the costs.
This again is an example of poor policy making in New Zealand where the costs are being born by those that don’t cause the effects.
It might be coming, although probably not nearly as much as would reflect an appropriate cost.
The key topics in the discussion document include how RUC might be used to charge for greenhouse gas emissions and other factors beyond damage to the roads (like noise pollution and congestion), and how EV’s will work in the RUC scheme.
And that is in addition to the rising ETS carbon costs which are genuinely starting to impact the energy of the economy. Renewable electricity projects are in a massive boom time huge geothermal solar and wind projects, mostly out of real focus of the media, and without any subsidies from govt. ~18 cents per litre of petrol are from the ETS.
Yes, its a start, but not nearly enough.
a) Ratepayers should not be paying for transport projects directly at all. They can pay via the transport service charges for goods and services delivered to delivered to their properties. Its not ratepayers that cause transport issues but the road users.
b) There should be no developer contributions for transport – road users should pay as they cause the transport effects.
c) Vehicle drivers should pay the full costs for walking, cycling and micromobilty space as it is the drivers that benefit from the increase in speed they get from a wider road & it is they that cause the crashes and deaths of peds, cyclists and micromobility users.
d) congestion charges will go a long way to reducing the need for expensive road capacity improvements (the expenditure can instead go to vision zero/carbon zero improvements).
The revenue can also help cross subsidise public transport (taxpayer should as well) as there are social benefits to providing transport to those without a car.
e) road users dont pay a vehicle air pollution tax.
f) road users only partly pay the cost of crashes – taxpayers cross-subsidise the cost.
g) trucks don’t pay the full cost or road damage (or didnt as of the last report I have seen on the issue)
h) parking is either free or under-priced.
Thus, is it any wonder we have sprawling low density land development & inefficient PT when the transport costs are so substantially underpaid by road users.
What a load of rubbish.
Ratepayers are road users are taxpayers.
Ypu can’t single them out and cry ‘subsidy’. They’re subsidising themselves.
I hoped there might be a start to providing alternatives to cars in the rural areas of Auckland, but still not even an on-demand bus to Piha, or Clevedon.
hmmm so the ‘new’ services are actually existing ones just with higher frequency and changed number? I think it’s a poor change for the amount of money they plan to spend
What’s the problem? You double the frequency of a bus route, that’s plenty of new services. Are there any obvious gaps in the bus network that could be filled with services of a reasonable frequency? As long as plenty of bus priority is rolled out as well, this should be great
‘are there any gaps in the network’?! are you serious?
Great to have some of these new frequent bus routes.
As many of us aware, Auckland Transport are running inefficient, uneconomical, unsustainable bus routes around the Auckland Region and it’s time to get rid of routes due to all factors stated since Auckland Transport has already stated that there axing routes. Many of these routes don’t gain enough patronage and as a result, it starts to become a service which can’t fund for itself and the need to rely on regular working people’s money who perhaps are struggling financially themselves so it can sustain while working people suffer as a consequence. Auckland Transport needs to get rid of specific bus routes which are currently running in our regions instead of targeting specific suburbs. Auckland Transport needs to be making their bus routing efficient, convenient, economical, sustainable and common sense routing especially if Auckland Transport wants to see people move from private vehicles to public transport!
In Auckland Transport future bus network plan, all there is more bus routes than getting rid of inefficient, uneconomical, unsustainable bus routes which provides no benefits to the communities it serves and runs as a subsidy, which means higher rates for ratepayers when there’s massive amounts of people right now are struggling financially. Also another factor to why were losing services is because were running service which aren’t convenient enough, once it starts to become inconvenient, the bus service can’t fund for itself and the need to rely on regular working people’s money who perhaps are struggling financially themselves so it can sustain while working people suffer as a consequence. Its Auckland Transport started providing bus routes which don’t correlate or interline with other routes on the network, along with proving services which are efficient, economical and sustainable bus routes!
Routes we need to get axed or revised:
– 20 route needs to be extended towards Mt Albert, Owairaka and Mt Roskill
– 64 targets small amounts of people, needs to be targeting people in Balmoral, Three Kings and Sandringham. Partly the reason why
– 101 Axe Route practically follows same routing as Outerlink
– 105 route need to be extended to Pt Chevalier
– 295 should be terminating at St Lukes instead of CBD
– 650 needs to terminate at Ellerslie instead of Glen Innes since Ellerslie is a business hub for workers and so people can catch the train faster to Penrose, Otahuhu and Manukau
– 747 route really short and needs to be bigger, needs to head into Sylvia Park
– 755 needs to heading right into Newmarket for those wanting to go shopping there from both directions, once out Newmarket go down St Marks Rd, Remuera Rd and Bassett Rd, at Remuera go down Victoria Ave, Manawa Rd, Orakei Rd.
– 774 Axe Route already got Tamaki link operating nearby
– 775 Axe Route already got Tamaki link operating nearby
– 82 route needs to be following nearly same exact routing as 843 and terminating at Constellation Drive Station
– 802 Axe Route already got Bayswater ferry, in-event of bad weather WFH or Akoranga to transfer if travelling on 801
– 805 Axe Route extremely short route and doesn’t serve very many people
– 806 Axe Route
– 807 Should merge with 806 and combine as one route to save amount of buses driving and cost
– 842 Axe Route doesn’t terminate northbound at a area of significance
– 843 Axe Route needs to merge with 82
– 901 Axe Route doesn’t serve large enough housing areas and quite of a route too
– 923 Axe Route serves areas of very little of significance
– 931 should terminate at Akoranga
– 939 Axe Route practically runs same route as 95
– 988 Axe Route practically runs same route as 982
– 195 Needs to do loop around New Lynn instead of going into CBD
– 135 Axe Route interlines with 13
– 161 Axe Route since correlates with 162 and get to same places
– 36 In Mangere area, needs to go on Kirkbride Rd, Wallace Rd and Church Rd, instead of its current routing
– 309 also Express Axe Route not many people from Mangere catch the bus to Newmarket and CBD
– 326 Axe Route correlates with 32
– 361 Axe Route correlates with 325 and is a really short route
– 363 Axe Route instead merge with 362 since there both short routes
– 373 Axe Route instead merge with 372 since there both short routes
– 377 Axe Route instead merge with 378 since there both short routes
– 391 & 392 Axe Route instead merge with 393 since there all short routes
That’s an opinionated whole lot of suggestions but perhaps some good ideas in there. I agree the 82 and 843 would be better combined but only if some bus priority to turn right into Akoranga could be achieved. 843 is more of a feeder for the bus way so needs that ability.
AT would know the numbers for the Devonport area buses, but remember these were changed and were instead of having that local Uber style pickup service.
I looked it up and yes the 82 originally was consulted on as going to Constellation with the hope to go to Akoranga but was broken up into the two routes so one could feed to Akoranga it seems.
Some of the ones you mention are just peak hour services or time with ferries.
The Pukekohe ones are designed to time with the less frequent train there, so wouldn’t want to combine them unless the train was every 5-10mins. Somewhat the same for Papakura. In any case some combining would mean inefficient journeys for a lot of customers.
Why would you extend the 105 to Pt Chev when the Outerlink (and peak 101) service there?
650 to Ellerslie? Maybe but the 650 fulfils an alternate road in Glen Innes from the 75, and also Green Lane East Rd. You would be doubling up part of the 70 route. Currently you just transfer to the 70 which is very frequent. Stop trying to create one seat journeys to suit just some people.
“The Pukekohe ones are designed to time with the less frequent train there, so wouldn’t want to combine them unless the train was every 5-10mins. Somewhat the same for Papakura. In any case some combining would mean inefficient journeys for a lot of customers.”
Pukekohe is currently undergoing redevelopment and electrification between Papakura – Pukekohe, which also means more frequent trains heading into Pukekohe.
“Why would you extend the 105 to Pt Chev when the Outerlink (and peak 101) service there?”
Imagine few people in Pt Chev would want a service which heads into Karangahape Road, Midtown and Downtown.
“650 to Ellerslie? Maybe but the 650 fulfils an alternate road in Glen Innes from the 75, and also Green Lane East Rd. You would be doubling up part of the 70 route.”
Makes total sense for 650 terminate to Ellerslie, people need direct access into Ellerslie for work purposes since there’s currently none, Glen Innes is not a employment hub for people.