My Last speech on transport at Council meeting Sept 17th, 2019
Tauranga Transport DC 273
Endorsement of the Transport System Network Plan (TSNP)
I am pleased to move the endorsement of the TSNP and additional budget of $3m to resource the increased capacity and capability to design and deliver improvements in the management, design and delivery of the local network.
Addressing the short term, medium, and long-term improvements to our transportation network in TCC and the WBOP can seriously begin in earnest at last.
We have already received the UFTI August Draft Foundation report which is an important component of getting progress and moving forward with an established and agreed plan that can deliver improvements across all modes of transport in our city.
This will form the basis of an agreement at some point in the near future I hope, of a funding plan, with BOPRC, WBOPDC NZTA, Kiwi rail, the PoT, Central Government and our ratepayers and road-users as it was in 2005, when we last had a plan of any significance to address our city’s transport needs.
Yesterday I listened to some of the recording of the inaugural Council meeting of this triennium and was reminded of the Mayors very funny and clever speech on that occasion.
MY FIRST SPEECHES IN THIS TRIENNIUM ALL ABOUT TRANSPORT
My first words in this term at that Council meeting, was about my being passionate about our transport needs and dealing with congestion around our city.
Then at my first meeting as a TCC representative on the Smart Growth Committee here in this chamber in Dec 2016 I spoke of the failure to complete the Strategic Roading Network, The Ring Road around our city, that had been planned as part of the Access Partnership with NZTA. I wish Smart Growth recorded its meetings so I could reflect on exactly all I had said then.
In the past three years progress has been painfully slow, too much bureaucracy one might say, and our community understandably may be loosing its patience while waiting in traffic.
Despite this I strongly believe we have begun to make progress with UFTI, and since the amalgamating of our City Transformation Committee and the Transport Committee into the Urban Form and Transport Committee, we are now taking good steps in moving forward.
This new funding approval and initiative to take the lead in developing the TSNP is an important step towards a more mobile city with greater transport choices.
I want to acknowledge the CE’s leadership and bold move to stand up at Smart Growth and declare that TCC would pursue the development of the Tauranga System Network Plan. That was an interesting meeting for sure. I think we all stand with him in confirming that the challenges we face are 80% Tauranga City Councils’ and therefore we need to provide strong leadership on 80% of the solutions, while continuing to stress the importance of collaboration across the sub-region that enables us all to make progress together.
We cannot afford to miss the opportunity to build on the Tauranga Transport work already done over several years and we must use that as a foundation to investigate all possible solutions through the TSNP work that can give our city a chance of avoiding the crippling congestion Auckland experiences.
It will involve all modes of transport choices. No single mode can solve all the challenges and the Government policy has made it clear we need to make progress on modal shift.
We need to continue to strike a balance between investment in the Road network, improving the Public Transport System and the development of the City-wide Cycle network without allowing any particular ideology to dominate and hold us back.
A curia research poll conducted in June this year asked 700 respondents across the city the following question. “ Tauranga is experiencing greater traffic congestion. With Government and Council resources limited, on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is lowest priority and 5 is highest priority, where would you want council to focus investment.”
Building Roads and improving intersections 4.3
Better Public Transport 3.4
A pretty good spread actually.
The fact that roads and intersections come out on top would be no surprise, in fact it might have been 5 perhaps. However, the fact that Better Public Transport and Cycleways scored above the median shows that our community is aware of the need to change behaviour and are supportive of investment on a broader front. This is contrary to what you might expect given the oft repeated statistic that we are such a car dependent city. This poll gives some evidence of public support for the proposal and budget allocation in the motion before us.
Our community wants progress, or to coin Cr Stewarts phrase, more dui, not more hui.
UFTI FOUNDATION REPORT
In closing I think it is worth mentioning here two other items on our agenda today we have received that have strong connections to the TSNP. As I touched on earlier, the UFTI Draft foundation report which tells our Western BOP story and sets out how we support our current land use pattern with a multi-modal, multi-agency transport investment programme that has short, medium, and long-term solutions. As the CE has made clear, the TSNP is intended to be part of UFTI going forward and will strengthen the Collaboration so necessary and foundational to moving forward in the Western BOP.
TCC has also been working steadily on the spatial plan for the Te Papa peninsular and the soon to be notified plan changes that will support greater density of housing and a wider range of housing typologies.
ACCESSIBLE PROPERTIES PUKEHINAHINA PROJECT.
The Pukehinahina Project discussion document developed by Accessible Properties that we are also formally receiving today shows an example of “A Partnership Vision for housing and community revitalisation in Gate Pa/Tauranga South” that support our plans for more public transport in the Cameron Rd corridor. It aligns with our Tauranga Urban Strategy (TUS) and is a very exciting project.
These are all good news stories that we can derive some satisfaction in getting to this stage at the final meeting of this Council. Not everything has been good news in the last three years, but despite all that, some very good work has been steadily progressing, much of which is a tribute to the hard work and determination of the staff at TCC, and I can only hope that the public will be aware of these developments that put the city in a good place to continue moving forward with a new council after the elections.