Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Auckland Transport takes fuel tax talks behind closed doors

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At the Auckland Transport board meeting on February 27, members went behind closed doors to discuss Regional Fuel Tax (RFT) projects. Photo Laura Kvigstad
  • By Laura Kvigstad, Auckland Council reporter
    funded by New Zealand on Air

Auckland Transport (AT) has gone behind closed doors to discuss how to juggle infrastructure projects with less funding after the Regional Fuel Tax was axed.

At the Auckland Transport board meeting on February 27, members went behind closed doors to discuss Auckland Regional Fuel Tax (RFT) projects.

After the Government announced the RFT would be removed in June, questions about the future of projects funded by the tax have hung in the air.

After the co-funding is removed, $350 million will be left for the board to prioritise but chief executive Dean Kimpton said AT could also look at other options for the existing projects.

“We cannot rely on Governments’ intentions to fund. That’s left us with two approaches – reprioritise the capital programme or reprioritise the RFT programme solely,” Kimpton said.

“People need to understand that we cannot deliver in an environment where there’s aspiration but no funding.”

He said the solution may be to reprioritise funding from other projects that have less merit.

Cr Chris Darby said information discussed in the confidential meeting should be made public after the meeting.

Kimpton agreed that it would need to be made public but the conversations in confidential would be around balancing and prioritising projects which needed a closed context.

He confirmed AT would be giving a public update on the RFT to Auckland Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee.

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