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Len Brown says Govt needs to stop and listen

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Latest Auckland News | Monday April 29 2013 19:13

Len Brown says Govt needs to stop and listen

Auckland's Mayor is telling the Government to shut up and listen before weighing in on the region's future transport funding.

It comes after Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee indicated the Government was unlikely to approve fuel taxes or tolls on existing roads.

Gerry Brownlee says the Government would need to know what impact it would have on the rest of the city's network.

"You can't do one thing in isolation.

"And I think the other point would be that if it's simply a way of trying to justify more expense on rail, then I think we need to look carefully at that as well."

Len Brown says the Government ought to take a step back and hear what Aucklanders have to say.

But the Prime Minister says Auckland Council should think through very carefully its transport funding options, before rushing into adding more cost to New Zealand taxpayers.

The council has come up with funding options that include regional fuel taxes, motorway network charges and rate rises.

John Key says the Government's preferred option is to gather income through excise tax.

"Of course Auckland's going to have to have a discussion about what it wants to achieve further, over and above the Government's programme for infrastructure here or for roading and regional transport issues.

"But we've just got to be careful about lumbering costs on New Zealand and Auckland ratepayers."

Mr Key says he would prefer that the Government fund Auckland transport infrastructure needs through existing mechanisms.

The Prime Minister says he doesn't want to see extra burden put on Auckland ratepayers.

He says the Government is absolutely against a regional fuel tax and he is questioning why motorists should be paying again for motorways already paid for by the Government.

Mr Key says the funding options need to be carefully looked at to see if it's affordable.

The Prime Minister says he still has to be convinced an inner city rail loop would be cost effective.

Photo: NZ Herald

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