Richard Simpson spoke of “a city run on anachronisms”; Christine Caughey talked of long-term vision to overcome a crisis; and both saw the new Auckland City Council on which they sit as a “transformational” council.
Whatever left/right associations others might have hoped for outside their central focus, the 2 Action Hobson councillors elected last month have firm ideas on transport & associated urban planning issues. And they have powerful positions to determine the council’s direction on those issues.
At today’s direction-setting meeting â€“ the one where councillors are given figures & directions by the staff, then begin the journey into mid-2005 to determine the rates rise, the way rates will be charged and the council’s priorities â€“ Cllr Caughey stamped herself as a saviour of the planet.
A transit network not based on endless more roads was necessary to solve environmental issues. “Motorways are outmoded,” she said. This one, in particular â€“ what began as the eastern highway then became submerged in the eastern transport corridor – was to have been laid along a rail corridor where there was the opportunity to lay more rail tracks, and at a time when Ports of Auckland Ltd had committed to putting 90% of freight out of the port on to rail.
And in another aspect of environmental concern, she was worried that introducing stormwater charges based on the impervious area of a ratepayer’s property might conflict with the council’s aim of encouraging people into higher-density housing.
Cllr Simpson will chair the transport & urban linkages committee and will join the eastern transport corridor steering group, a joint body involving Manukau City Council, Transit & other parties. He will also represent the council on the Auckland Regional Land Transport Committee and back up deputy mayor Bruce Hucker on the ARTNL (Auckland Regional Transport Network Ltd) shareholders’ representative group.Cllr Caughey will chair the environment, heritage & urban form committee and will be Cllr Hucker’s alternate on the Regional Growth Forum.