United Future Policies for Auckland 2014
1. Rail Link to Airport from Papatoetoe is the first Auckland Public Transport Priority. Central government should provide 50% of the funding, as half of those using the airport live outside Auckland Region. Total Cost is about $500 Million, a fraction of the cost of the Central Rail Loop ($2,800 M in 2013), although the Airport Rail Link is much longer.
The Airport Link would increase patronage throughout the Auckland Rail network. Because it is much lower cost and risk than the Central Loop, it can proceed immediately, and would enable much more accurate assessment of future rail projects in Auckland.
2. Cross-Lease to Freehold Title requires legislation to facilitate low-cost conversion.
Councils have progressively decreased the minimum size for freehold titles, so that a great many existing cross-leases now meet the current qualifications for Free-Hold title. However it is rarely economic for owners to convert cross-lease title to freehold, despite the advantages this provides. Legislation could to allow a simple and cheap process for conversion, where properties met current zoning requirements. About 100,000 properties in Auckland Region are cross-leased.
3. Referendum on the Auckland Unitary Plan takes place at the next Local Body election. If less than 40% of voters support the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, it is inoperative until replaced by an amended version receiving 40% support in a subsequent referendum.
Although the Auckland Unitary Plan contains thousands of individual components, these are based upon a few critical long-term objectives underlying the details of the plan. The objectives include doubling jobs in the CBD, high-rise apartments in suburban centres, major investment in urban rail, and limiting residential growth on the urban fringe. Aucklanders should have the opportunity to support or oppose the whole Unitary Plan.