Manukau to receive new bus services, increased tree canopy in proposed Climate Action Package

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Manukau to receive new bus services, increased tree canopy in proposed Climate Action Package

Manukau residents will benefit from new and more frequent bus services and more tree canopy if Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s proposed Climate Action Package is supported by councilors as part of this year’s Annual Budget. This boost will be critical for the area which has historically been underserved when it comes to public transport and mature trees that offer shade.

Mayor Goff says the investment in the Climate Action Package will help reduce carbon emissions by encouraging more people to use public transport, and create greener, healthier neighborhoods.

“If we are going to meet our goal to reduce carbon emissions, we need to provide more frequent and accessible public transport so Aucklanders aren’t forced to rely on private cars to get around,” he says.

“People can’t use public transport unless the services exist and are fast and convenient. That’s why the Climate Action Package I’ve proposed includes a more than half-billion-dollar boost to deliver new and frequent bus services across Auckland. This will see more than a million Aucklanders living within 500m of an improved bus route. It will also provide for 79 new low-emission electric or hydrogen buses, and there will be increased funding for new cycling and walking infrastructure, and urban nearer.”

Manukau Ward Councilor Efeso Collins says, “Providing better bus services and more urban trees in south Auckland will help reduce historical inequalities in the area, which has previously been underserved by public transport and has lacked investment in urban near here. This investment will also shift the dial on our climate change response, which is critical if Auckland is to become a greener and more sustainable city.”

For Manukau, the proposed bus improvements include a new frequent route servicing Highbrook, Ōtara, Puhinui Interchange, Roscommon Road, Clendon and Manurewa; and another new frequent route through Ōtara North, Papatoetoe East, Manukau, Clendon and Manurewa. Ihumatao will get a new service through an extension of the 326 route from Middlemore and Māngere, and services will be improved on five other routes in the area.

“We know south Aucklanders will use public transport if the services are fast, frequent and reliable,” Mayor Goff says.

On the tree planting, Mayor Goff says it’s about addressing climate change while also increasing tree canopy in areas that have historically gone without.

“Tree canopy plays an important role in reducing temperatures and absorbing carbon emissions,” he says.

“Unfortunately, for many years some parts of Auckland—particularly in south Auckland—have not enjoyed the shade, greenness and softening of the built environment that trees provide.

“The Climate Action Package aims to address this disparity and will enable us to plant nearly 15,000 eight to ten-year-old native trees in the areas that need them most, such as Manukau.

“These trees—which will all be 1m to 1.5m tall—will provide shade from the sun, absorb carbon emissions and make neighborhoods greener, cooler and more beautiful.”

The Climate Action Package will be funded by a Climate Action Targeted Rate of around $1.10 per week for ratepayers with a median-value property of $1.18 million, as well as co-funding from government and fares from increased public transport patronage.

“It’s a small weekly sum but a big investment in our city and in our children and grandchildren’s future,” Mayor Goff says.

Consultation on Auckland Council’s Annual Budget, including the Climate Action Targeted Rate, is open from 28 February to 28 March. Visit akhaveyoursay.nz to find out more and have your say.

Across Auckland, the Climate Action Targeted Rate will deliver:

  • More than $600 million invested in new or improved bus services which will see 1 million Aucklanders living within 500m of an improved route
  • $122 million to accelerate decarbonisation of the ferry fleet, which accounts for 21 per cent of Auckland’s emissions from public transport
  • $228 million for walking and cycling
  • $13.3 million for urban ngahere, mara kai (food gardens) and tiny forests
  • 10 new frequent bus services and service improvements in every ward in Auckland
  • An additional 79 low-emissions electric or hydrogen buses for Tāmaki Makaurau
  • An additional 42km of safe cycle facilities PLUS a full Local Area Network (length not yet calculated)
  • Up to 35km of walking connectivity improvements
  • 14,800 native mature trees with a focus on areas with the most heat vulnerability and lowest canopy cover.

More details of the proposed Annual Budget and Climate Action package, including the full proposal and supporting documents, can be found here.