The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 9

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The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 9

Simeon Brown says cycle lane, busway and speed bump spending will be cut to make up for dumping Auckland Fuel Levy; Wayne Brown warns of other service cuts too; ComCom eyes power quadropoly
Simeon Brown has ordered Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown to stop spending on cycleways, busways and speedbumps in a move that will further increase congestion and climate emissions. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First Government has pulled around $180 million/year of public transport funding out of Auckland Council’s budget by cancelling the Auckland Fuel Levy from the end of June, but isn’t replacing the funds.

Instead, Transport, Auckland Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has ordered Mayor Wayne Brown to stop spending on cycleways, busways and speedbumps. The move will increase congestion and climate emissions. It also paves the way for congestion charges.

Elsewhere in the news in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy and beyond at 8 am:

  • The Commerce Commission thinks Meridian, Mercury, Genesis and Contact may have breached the Commerce Act by restricting competition, but the anti-monopoly watchdog won’t formally investigate because it doesn’t have enough money. The Electricity Authority will have a look again instead, as it has done repeatedly over 20 years.

  • The mostly-state-controlled electricity industry has warned MPs $130 billion of investment is needed to electrify the economy and cut climate emissions to zero, but says most of the investment won’t happen because its profits aren’t big enough.

  • GPs say they are breaking point because of years of Government underfunding designed to allow tax cuts, but which are now seeing doctors fees increased and services cut instead.

  • Adrian Orr may signal a resumption of rate hikes next Friday, which would fly in the face of the Government’s talk about reducing the cost of living and cutting mortgage rates.

  • A state of emergency has been declared for a coastal town in Southland that is being eroded by rising sea levels linked to climate change, but the Government still has no Climate Adaptation Act in place.

Full paying subscribers can read and hear more detail in my Dawn Chorus podcast above and below the paywall fold. Join our community of paying subscribers to get access to ‘Hoon’ webinars, our private chat system and be able to comment on articles. Paying subscribers also support the public interest journalism we do at The Kākā on housing affordability, climate emissions and poverty. They can request it be opened publicly.

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The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The latest daily snapshot of the news, detail, insight and analysis on geo-politics, the global economy, business, markets and the local political economy for citizens and decision-makers of Aotearoa-NZ.