20 Jul 2012

Minister softens tone on Auckland funding options

2:01 pm on 20 July 2012

The Minister of Transport has emerged from a meeting with Auckland Council expressing a more moderate view on new taxes the city is weighing up.

Auckland Council has set up a group to explore a range of ideas that could raise more than $10 billion for major transport projects in the coming decades.

Senior cabinet ministers on Friday held their annual meeting with Auckland Council, a day after the Government poured cold water on the city's interest in new taxes and levies.

Mr Brownlee had criticised the city's intention to explore a regional fuel tax and road charging as options for raising revenue.

After the annual meeting, Mr Brownlee was asked whether he was ruling out any of the council's options.

"We'll continue to work with Auckland Council on ... how they marry, I guess, the desires that they've got with the view that we are forming about the needs up here and then the funding proposals that will come out of all of that," he said.

Mr Brownlee said Government officials will work with the council group weighing up the pros and cons of new ways to fund future transport projects.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said the Government now has a more moderate stance on possible new taxes and charges. He said the meeting was positive and there was a more conciliatory tone.