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PlaNet News & Views

Posted on 5-7-2004

Auckland City Council Pushing Banks Into Corner
1 July 2004

Ed. PTV will be doing a programme this month about the upcoming mayoral
elections in Auckland and its totally biased position is rapidly evolving
- namely that current mayor John Banks, supported by clan Hay, is being
backed into several corners, the most difficult from which to emerge will
be the transport cul-de-sac.

But all is not lost for Banksie, he always has his monied backers and
their combined experience of centuries of underhand commercial and
political practise to fall back on, of which the most obvious is the
propping up of a vote-splitter (in 2001 it was Matt McCarten and this year
Dr Bruce Hucker).

After all, the ego is the easiest thing to manipulate and politicians are
not known as people who regularly attain an enlightened egoless state out
of reach of feign and favour... oh, or money.

.....Press Release From ACC...............

Eastern transport corridor progresses

Auckland City’s Transport Committee made significant decisions on the
proposed eastern transport corridor at its meeting yesterday.

The Transport Committee has discarded the Parnell Tunnel option, opting to
progress further work on the Hobson Bay crossing. Reasons given for the
decision include the estimated additional cost of between $500 and $600
million, disruption to residential communities, impact on the local road
network, lower transport benefits and the higher risks associated with the
proposed tunnel and gyratory in Grafton Gully.

The committee has not accepted the Hobson Bay crossing in a form proposed
by Opus International Consultants, which included many lanes in front of
Parnell Baths.

Transport Committee chairperson, Councillor Greg McKeown says that ongoing
work will now look at downscaled options and staging.

“We will not be proceeding to more detailed work, including scheme
assessment and further assessment of environmental effects, until the
Transport Committee has approved the revised scale and form for key parts
of the corridor,” says Mr McKeown.

The committee received advice that staging of modes and physical works was
important to the development of the corridor. The committee also supported
retaining flexibility with regard to future use along key parts of the

“We are proceeding carefully to ensure we make sensible decisions that
allow for Auckland’s growth well into the future.
“The eastern transport corridor fits within the regional transport
framework. We will be seeking a commitment from the Auckland Regional
Council and ARTA for increased rail services with complementary bus
services to support the corridor,” says Mr McKeown.

Opus and council officers are working on a proposed first stage, which
includes new roading and public transport in the eastern suburbs of Glen
Innes, Panmure, Pakuranga and Waipuna.

“We are taking full account of land use, community development, and the
changing economy of this area, while at the same time addressing some
existing transport problems and building infrastructure that will serve
the area well into the future,” says Mr McKeown.

A report on the corridor’s function, form, funding, scale, and staging
will be presented to Auckland City’s Transport Committee in August.

All recommendations made to the committee must reflect Auckland City’s
transport, land use, urban design, economic policies and the regional rail
business plan.

The meeting followed Monday’s extended public forum where 46 business and
community groups, transport user representatives, urban designers,
environmental planning professionals and individuals presented their views
to the committee.

Yesterday’s committee meeting was the first time Auckland City has
commented on Opus International’s report released in March.