I hereby give notice that an extraordinary meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Committee will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Wednesday, 27 March 2024

10.00am

Reception Lounge
Auckland Town Hall
301-305 Queen Street
Auckland

 

Komiti mō ngā Tūnuku me ngā Rawa Tūāhanga /  Transport and Infrastructure Committee

 

OPEN ADDENDUM AGENDA

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Cr John Watson

 

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Christine Fletcher, QSO

 

Members

Cr Andrew Baker

Cr Mike Lee

 

Cr Josephine Bartley

Cr Kerrin Leoni

 

Houkura Member Billy Brown

Cr Daniel Newman, JP

 

Mayor Wayne Brown

Houkura Member Pongarauhine Renata

 

Cr Angela Dalton

Cr Greg Sayers

 

Cr Chris Darby

Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson, JP

 

Cr Julie Fairey

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

Cr Alf Filipaina, MNZM

Cr Ken Turner

 

Cr Lotu Fuli

Cr Wayne Walker

 

Cr Shane Henderson

Cr Maurice Williamson

 

Cr Richard Hills

 

 

(Quorum 11 members)

 

 

Lata Smith

Senior Governance Advisor

26 March 2024

 

Contact Telephone: 027 202 0586

Email: lata.smith@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 


Transport and Infrastructure Committee

27 March 2024

 

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                         PAGE

 

7          Auckland Council submission in response to the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024                                                                             5

 

 


Transport and Infrastructure Committee

27 March 2024

 

 

Auckland Council submission in response to the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024

File No.: CP2024/02924

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To whakaae / approve Auckland Council’s submission in response to the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS).     

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       The Ministry of Transport has released a new draft of the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (draft GPS 2024) for public consultation, replacing the draft GPS 2024 released in August 2023. There are many significant differences between this version and the draft released last year.

3.       The GPS sets out the government’s land transport strategy and priorities for the next decade and is updated every three years. It outlines what the government expects to achieve in land transport, along with how much funding will be provided and how this funding will be allocated across the different aspects of the land transport system.

4.       A key focus of the draft GPS 2024 is the government’s direction on how $20 billion in funding from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) will be allocated over the next three years. Funding allocations are shaped by the government’s four strategic priorities: economic growth and productivity; increased maintenance and resilience; safety (particularly policing and enforcement); and value for money.

5.       The proposed funding allocations in the draft GPS 2024 are across 12 activity classes. In combination with a much more directive approach to how funds in certain classes are to be used, funding will increase for the construction and maintenance of state highways and local roads, while effectively decreasing funding for several other aspects of the land transport system, including walking, cycling, public transport, rail services and, potentially, infrastructure-based interventions focused specifically on improving safety.

6.       Auckland Council’s draft submission (Attachment B) supports the GPS where there is alignment with its own strategic documents. It notes Council’s broad support for many of the strategic priorities and in particular its focus on enhancing economic growth and productivity.  Amongst other things the submission also expresses council’s support for many of the reforms proposed for the transport funding and planning system, the increase in funding for road maintenance, increased focus on enforcement to improve safety and the increased focus on improving efficiency of freight movements. 

7.       The draft submission also highlights a number of gaps in the draft GPS 2024. Chief amongst these is the document’s failure to address the need for partnership between government and Auckland Council or make any reference to a potential Integrated Transport Plan (ITP). The draft submission recommends that the GPS include a commitment to work with Auckland Council on an ITP to provide an aligned and integrated policy and investment strategy, committed to by all parties that is appropriately funded. It further recommends that the GPS be more explicit about the fact that Auckland is different to much of the rest of the country and the interventions required to support economic growth often differ from those that are effective in less urbanised areas.  

 

8.       The draft submission expresses particular concern about the proposed cut in funding for public transport services and infrastructure. The funding allocations set out in the draft GPS 2024 will require Auckland Transport to significantly increase fares and reduce service levels, potentially leaving entire suburbs without a public transport service. Council also has key concerns around the lack of focus on mitigating the climate and environmental impacts of the transport system, the lack of reference to the importance of working with Māori, the reduced funding for active modes, the move away from a safe system approach to road safety and the challenges some of the proposals will create for the delivery of multi-modal infrastructure improvements. 

9.       Following the Transport and Infrastructure Committee workshop on 20 March 2024 a draft of the submission was sent to elected members and Houkura members on Friday 22 March. Feedback was received from a number of councillors and staff have made changes to the draft accordingly and as best as they were able. These changes are highlighted in Attachment B. 

10.     This report seeks approval of the final submission from the Transport and Infrastructure Committee.

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendations

That the Transport and Infrastructure Committee:

a)      whakaae / approve the Auckland Council group submission to the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024, contained as Attachment B, inclusive of any minor edits and corrections.

Horopaki

Context

11.     The Ministry of Transport released a new draft of the GPS 2024 on 4 March 2024 for public consultation, replacing the draft GPS 2024 released in August 2023. Submissions close at midday on 2 April 2024.

12.     The GPS is a statutory document which the government must update at least once every three years. It outlines what the government expects to achieve in land transport, along with the level of funding that will be provided and how funding from the NLTF will be allocated across the different aspects of the land transport system. The GPS also includes information on the Government’s strategic priorities and Ministerial expectations regarding land transport funding.

13.     Expenditure targets and funding ranges for various activity classes are specified for the first six financial years of the GPS’s timeframe, and these are supplemented by forecast funding ranges for the following four financial years, creating a ten-year pathway for how funding from the NLTF will be allocated.

14.     The GPS has a significant impact on all aspects of New Zealand’s transport system, as it sets the parameters through which NLTF funding can be accessed. It therefore directs NZTA funding decisions via establishing funding ranges for different transport activities (known as activity classes).

15.     As most transport investments by local authorities, such as Auckland Transport, receive co-funding from the NLTF, the GPS has a strong influence on transport decisions at the regional level as well as the national level. Additionally, Regional Land Transport Plans (RLTP) must be consistent with the GPS and the purpose of the Land Transport Management Act 2013; “an effective, efficient and safe land transport system in the public interest”.

 

16.     Auckland Council provided a submission on the previous draft GPS 2024 released by the previous government prior to the 2023 general election, which was broadly supportive of its overall strategic priorities. It raised concerns that the document did not provide Auckland with an adequate share of transport funding, did not address the broader funding challenges facing the transport system and had not been prepared with sufficient consultation with Auckland Council.

17.     This is the second draft of the GPS 2024. There are a number of significant differences between this draft GPS and the earlier version.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

18.     The Government’s four strategic priorities outlined in the draft GPS 2024 are economic growth and productivity, increased maintenance and resilience, safety and value for money.

19.     For each of the strategic priorities, the draft GPS 2024 includes a list of short to medium-term outcomes that the Government expects to achieve through their investment in land transport. There is an expectation that the National Land Transport Plan (NLTP) 2024-27 and the corresponding RLTPs will prioritise projects and activities that align with the Government’s strategic priorities by contributing to the expected outcomes listed in the draft GPS 2024.

20.     The draft GPS 2024 also includes a list of Ministerial expectations which provide further direction on how the Minister of Transport intends for NZTA to give effect to the GPS.

21.     Section 5 of the draft GPS 2024 states that the Minister of Transport expects:

·            a focus on delivery

·            a focus on core business

·            a focus on value for money

·            consideration of other revenue sources and other funding and delivery models

·            increased focused on performance and efficiency

·            NZTA to ensure that Road Controlling Authorities are following the Ministerial expectations in the GPS.

22.     Under the LTMA, these expectations specifically apply to NZTA, although the draft GPS 2024 notes that ‘most of the expectations also apply to other players in the sector including the Ministry, local government and other delivery agencies.’

23.     Many aspects of these Ministerial expectations align well with existing Auckland Council policy. The instruction to NZTA to develop more efficient business case processes by the end of 2024, for example, may lead to a less onerous funding application process and faster decision making. This would align well with Auckland Council’s proposed 2023 legislative changes to transport governance and echoes the recommendation in Auckland’s Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway (TERP) for reform of the transport planning system.

Auckland Council Submission

24.     The draft submission notes that Auckland Council broadly supports many of the strategic priorities highlighted in the new draft GPS 2024. It raises concerns, however, that some of the specific proposals could have unintended consequences which may worsen Auckland’s current transport issues. For example, a proposed reduction in funding to the Public Transport Services activity class will require Auckland Transport to significantly increase fares and enact severe cuts across the public transport network. Reductions in funding or new restrictions on funding for public transport infrastructure, rail network, walking and cycling and safety are also not supported.

 

 

25.     The draft GPS 2024 makes no mention of a potential ITP or any kind of partnership with Auckland. Effective collaboration and joint decision-making involving both Auckland Council and central government will be essential for the region’s success and its contribution to New Zealand’s economy. The draft submission notes that we would like to see the government use the GPS to commit to working with council on an ITP for Auckland to provide an aligned and integrated policy and investment strategy, committed to by all parties that is appropriately funded.

26.     Transport represents one of the biggest challenges facing Auckland. Integrated multi-modal planning is the pathway to successful transport outcomes and it is essential that the GPS facilitates this. The current transport funding and governance systems do not work for Auckland and Auckland Council does not have the tools to address these issues ourselves. The submission therefore supports many of the reforms to the transport planning and funding system proposed in the draft GPS.

27.     The submission emphasises the need to fulfil Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations through meaningful engagement with Māori and a commitment to improving Māori outcomes. These are entirely absent from the draft GPS 2024.    

28.     Concern was expressed that the draft GPS 2024’s approaches to reducing emissions, improving transport safety and facilitating multi-modal transport planning do not align with Auckland Council’s established approaches to these issues. While the government’s approach to reducing transport emissions by relying primarily on price signals sent via the Emissions Trading Scheme is acknowledged, the draft submission argues that a continued focus on mode shift is also required to cut emissions significantly.

29.     Several proposed changes to funding are signalled in the draft GPS 2024, including strict new directives around which activities can be funded from each activity class, which risks creating significant cost inefficiencies and administrative burden for Auckland Transport.

30.     Auckland Council is still working to understand the impact of debt instruments and other repayments on the overall funding available in the activity classes. Once debt is taken into account, the actual allocations that are practically available may be closer to the bottom of the activity class bands which would impact funding availability in key areas. 

31.     The draft GPS 2024 proposes a reduction in funding for the Public Transport Services and Infrastructure activity classes. This would have significant adverse impacts on the operation of Auckland’s public transport system and affect Auckland Transport’s ability to maintain existing services and deliver planned improvements, and the ability to invest in public transport infrastructure.

32.     The direction that all active modes investment must come from the Walking and Cycling activity class is likely to mean an effective significant decrease in funding availability relative to demand for funding. This activity class is likely to be heavily oversubscribed nationally, in terms of committed projects and maintenance and renewals, which means there will likely be very little funding available for new projects. This will be exacerbated by the fact that the funding range is halved after year one and, unlike all other activity classes, is not adjusted for inflation in subsequent years. 

33.     The proposed prohibition on the use of funds from the dedicated Safety activity class for infrastructure-based safety improvements could lead to a significant decrease in available funding for projects focused on improving transport safety. The strict new requirements around what safety interventions will be funded from various activity classes will limit our ability to provide fit for purpose, evidence-based responses to community concerns and crash risks.

34.     A list of the recommendations from the draft submission are attached as Appendix A.

 

 

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

35.     Making a submission to Government on the draft GPS 2024 has no direct climate impacts.

36.     The GPS, its priorities and its consequential setting of parameters through which NLTF funding can be accessed does, however, have a direct impact on transport emissions. The GPS can enable either an increase or decrease in transport related emissions over time.

37.     Emissions from transport is the biggest contributor to Auckland’s emission profile – it makes up 43 per cent of Auckland’s emissions. Investment in the land transport system in Auckland therefore plays a significant role, possibly the most significant, in enabling Auckland to achieve its own emission reduction targets, as well as contribute to national emission reduction targets. The draft GPS 2024 states there will be a shift away from direct transport decarbonisation initiatives towards a greater reliance on the Emissions Trading Scheme.

38.     As the draft GPS 2024 is a statement of intent at this stage (with no actual funding allocations or investment decisions) it is not possible to estimate its climate impacts in terms of either emissions or resilience. The concern is that the GPS will not support mode shift sufficiently to enable significant progress toward the government and Auckland Council’s climate goals.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

39.     Making a submission to Government on the draft GPS 2024 has no direct impacts on the council group.

40.     The GPS 2024 will however have major impacts on Auckland Transport. Several proposed changes to funding are signalled in the draft GPS 2024, including strict new directives around which activities can be funded from each activity class, which risks creating significant cost inefficiencies and administrative burden for Auckland Transport.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

41.     An information memorandum, outlining the purpose and function of a GPS as well as the content of the draft GPS 2024 was provided to Local Boards on 12 March 2024.

42.     Local Boards were invited to provide their feedback on the draft GPS to council by Tuesday 26 March. This feedback will be attached to the Auckland Council submission.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

43.     Staff wrote to Mana Whenua and Mataawaka on 12 March 2024, providing them with an information memorandum outlining the purpose and function of a GPS and content of the draft GPS 2024 and inviting them to provide input into Auckland Council’s submission. No feedback from Mana Whenua and Mataawaka was received.

44.     The draft GPS 2024 does not mention Māori outcomes or engagement with Māori. The draft submission recommends that the GPS specifically reference the need for engagement with Māori across the transport sector and that it includes a focus on enhancing Māori outcomes and improving transport equity.

 

 

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

45.     There is no financial implication from making a submission on the draft GPS 2024.

46.     The proposed funding allocations in the draft GPS 2024 are across 12 activity classes. In combination with a much more directive approach to how funds in certain classes are to be used, funding will increase for the construction and maintenance of state highways and local roads, while effectively decreasing funding for several other aspects of the land transport system, including walking, cycling, public transport, rail services and infrastructure-based safety interventions.

47.     These changes will significantly impact AT’s ability to deliver on many of its planned projects, particularly public transport. This is discussed in full in the funding section of the draft submission.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

48.     There are a number of significant risks associated with the draft GPS 2024 in relation to the Auckland Council Group’s ability to deliver on a wide range of transport and land use projects and initiatives. These will need to be worked through as the GPS is finalised and given effect to through various transport planning processes in years to come. 

49.     The draft submission includes a recommendation to the government that it work closely with Auckland Council to support more integrated, joint decision making. It recommends an ITP to provide an aligned and integrated policy and investment strategy as a means of mitigating the negative impacts of the draft GPS 2024.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

50.     Should the Transport and Infrastructure Committee approve the final submission, the submission will be dispatched to meet the submission period deadline.

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Auckland Council Draft GPS Submission Specific Recommendations

11

b

DRAFT Auckland Council Submission on the Draft GPS Land Transport 2024

13

      

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Authors

Robert Simpson - Manager Transport Strategy

Elise Webster - Principal Transport Advisor

Authorisers

Jacques Victor - General Manager, Auckland Plan Strategy and Research

Megan Tyler - Chief of Strategy

Barry Potter - Director Infrastructure and Environmental Services

 

 


Transport and Infrastructure Committee

27 March 2024

 

 



Transport and Infrastructure Committee

27 March 2024